Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department employee whose hasty dismissal by the Obama administration sparked a national uproar over race, said Thursday that she will sue the conservative blog mogul who posted the edited video that led to her removal.
Mrs. Sherrod made the announcement about legal action against Andrew Breitbart in San Diego at the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists in a panel discussion called “Context and Consequences: Conversation With Shirley Sherrod.”
In the heavily edited video, Mrs. Sherrod appeared to be proudly telling a Georgia NAACP chapter that she did not help a white farmer. In the full video, she spoke of racial reconciliation and lessons she learned about herself from the experience with the farmer, who quickly backed Mrs. Sherrod in the ensuing public furor.
Mrs. Sherrod said in a CNN interview last week that she would consider taking legal action against Mr. Breitbart.
“I really think I should” consider going forward with a defamation suit, she told interviewers. “I don’t know a lot about the legal profession, but that’s one person I’d like to get back at.”
She also has called Mr. Breitbart a racist who wants to demote blacks to slavery-era status.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has apologized to Mrs. Sherrod for acting hastily and has offered her another job within the agency. Mrs. Sherrod has yet to say whether she will accept the position. President Obama also offered a personal apology to Mrs. Sherrod over the phone.