Appeals court affirms Frazier
Defamation suit by NAACP official dismissed
Carl Madison, former president of the Springfield branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has lost another round in his lawsuit against Renatta Frazier, the former Springfield Police officer who was falsely accused of failing to prevent a rape.
Madison, who now lives in Ohio, sued Frazier in 2005
claiming defamation after she published The
Enemy in Blue, a book about her tenure with
SPD. In the book, she recounts turning to the NAACP for help, and her
eventual disillusionment with Madison. The harshest statement she made
about him in her book — "Real men don't lie. . . real men
don't sell out" — became the crux of his federal lawsuit
Last week, in a split decision, the Seventh Circuit
Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision granting Frazier summary
judgment against Madison, saying that "the phrase 'sell
out' is incapable of being verified as a statement of fact; it is
merely an opinion that Madison betrayed his race."
The court devoted more time to Frazier's implication that Madison lied (about which party ended their relationship), but concluded that Madison, as a public figure, would have had to show that Frazier published an untruth with malice.
Frazier, contacted in Hawaii, says she's relieved this chapter has closed.
"The bottom line is: I felt like he
didn't do his job, and I was disappointed because of that. I
expressed it the best way I thought necessary," she says. "Even
to this day, I have no regrets."
Contact Dusty Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org