Attorney Jack D. Wilenchik has sent a letter to the public university calling them to either rehire Rae’Lee Klein, a Cheyenne, Wyoming native, at Blaze Radio or offer financial damages for violating her First Amendment rights.
“Always more to the story, folks,” said Klein in an August tweet on the arrest warrant for Blake. “Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted” Klein referred to the article that was posted on New York Times at the time about the report on Blake.
“I was reading through it and I just thought it was super interesting and enlightening and a part of the story we haven’t been told yet,” said Klein.
“I was just trying to do A, what I was assigned to do and B, what I thought was my job as a journalist, which is to share an important part of the story,” said Klein, who was on the politics beat.
Kristin Gilger, interim dean of ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, denied that Klein had been 'fired' as station manager, adding that it was 'an ongoing situation' and that she remains a 'student employee.'
Nonetheless, leaked emails from Gilger to Klein from earlier this week purport to show the dean telling Klein that 'staying on as station manager is not an option.'
'She remains a student employee of Arizona State University and from our perspective, this is an ongoing situation,' Gilger added. 'Any actions that are unfolding are not punishment for a tweet.'
A criticism against Blake led to felony charges being filed in July accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in May. Blake, who was wanted on a warrant for those charges when police arrived at the scene Aug. 23, pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month via video from his hospital bed. A court hearing was set for Nov. 9.
Video captured by a cellphone of a witness and posted online shows cops follow Blake with their guns drawn as he walks around the front of a parked SUV, opens the driver’s side door and lean into the vehicle.
Cops then discharged their weapons, hitting the Black man seven times in the back and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, according to his family members and lawyer.
The shooting caused outrage and led to nights of protests and unrest, including a night in which authorities say an Illinois 17-year-old shot and killed two protesters and wounded a third.