Branded a racist “Karen,” doxxed on social media, and placed on leave by her employer, Sarah Comrie, a physician’s assistant at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, was ultimately vindicated thanks to a literal receipt in the viral Citi Bike dispute, but according to her lawyer, there is “no question” that some members of the media “defamed” his client.
As American Wire News reported, Comrie, who is six months pregnant, ended her 12-hour hospital shift and went to get on the Citi Bike she rented to pedal her way home when a group of five young men approached her and claimed the bike was theirs.
Pregnant nurse smeared as ‘racist Karen’ strikes back with LITERAL receipts after battle over ‘stolen’ bikehttps://t.co/hK4IqiU9ZC
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) May 19, 2023
One of the black men recorded the incident, which has since been seen more than 10 million times.
Attorney Justin Marino added some context to the viral clip on Friday’s edition of Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”
(Vide0: Fox News)
“She went to a vacant bike, where no one was touching, no one was on,” he explained. “She mounted the bike. She paid for the bike. She ended up actually backing off of the docking station. And around that time, these individuals were claiming that that was their bike.”
“Someone pushed the bike while she was on it back into the docking station so it locked again,” he continued. “And that’s where the video picks up.”
Ultimately, Comrie produced receipts proving that she had rented the bike, but the damage had already been done online. When asked why his client now needs an attorney, Marino said that she is afraid she will lose her job.
“There’s a great fear that her employer is going to cater to the media and fire her,” he said.
In a tweeted statement, Bellevue Hospital announced that it had put Comrie on leave “pending a review.”
“We are aware of the video involving a health care provider off duty and away from the hospital campus. The incident in the video is disturbing,” the statement read. “The provider is currently out on leave and will remain on leave pending a review. As a health system we are committed to providing an environment for our patients and staff that is free from discrimination of any kind.”
— NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue (@BellevueHosp) May 16, 2023
The hospital can do their review, Marino said, but Comrie is now facing far greater problems.
“She’s received death threats,” he said. “She’s in hiding.”
“What’s at play is what social media did to this woman who’s literally a hero, and has done nothing but help people and within one minute effectively tries to ruin her life,” Marino stated.
The media and Comrie’s employer are seen as trying to frame the event as an act of racism.
“Race has nothing to do with it,” Marino said. “If the skin colors were the same, we would not be here today.”
The ordeal, he said, was “incredibly distressing” for Comrie, because one of the men put his hand on her pregnant stomach. Marino said he will be filing defamation lawsuits on his client’s behalf.
“Without question,” Comrie has been defamed, the lawyer said.
“She’s been called a racist, she’s been called a thief,” he said. “There are reasons defamation laws exist and we plan to pursue that.”
“I want to be very clear, our defamation is against the media,” Marino stressed, “and the way they blew this into a disaster for her.”
When asked, specifically, which media, Marina replied, “Every organization that referred to her as a ‘Karen,’ a ‘racist,’ and a ‘thief.'”
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