Observer Newsroom

After more than two years since a Sacramento-area businesswoman was wrongly accused of making racist and hateful comments on the Facebook page of Sacramento’s Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter, a settlement has been reached in her lawsuit against BLM Sacramento. The group’s founder, Tanya Faison, issued a public apology to Karra Crowley, the real estate investor who filed the libel suit in May 2021.

“She has posted an apology on the Black Lives Matter Facebook page, and that’s what I had asked for,” stated Crowley. “It’s something you can’t undo. You can’t go out and destroy somebody’s reputation and just think that that’s OK. So I’m hoping that by her admitting and acknowledging this, she’ll think twice before doing anything like that again.”

Faison’s attorney, Mark Merin, confirmed that the case had been settled. As part of the settlement, Faison agreed to remove her original post targeting Crowley and to post a video apology to her on BLM Sacramento’s Facebook page.

“On behalf of myself and Black Lives Matter Sacramento, I deeply apologize for my reckless behavior and the harm that we caused Ms. Crowley, her family, and her business,” expressed Faison in a 98-second video posted on Facebook.

In the video, Faison admitted that she should have taken down her post about Crowley after receiving clarification from her in 2021, where Crowley assured her that the messages did not originate from her and that she did not hold racist views.

“Nonetheless, I posted on the Facebook website that I had verified Ms. Crowley’s identity,” admitted Faison. “I posted Ms. Crowley’s city of residence and work, and I asked the public to make Ms. Crowley famous. Terrible consequences for Ms. Crowley followed, including death threats. Black Lives Matter Sacramento and I were wrong. We should have taken the Facebook post down after Ms. Crowley explained to me that she had not sent them.”

According to court documents, investigators determined that the original messages were sent by Robert Leslie Adair, a former tenant who had previously been evicted by Crowley.

The dispute originated when an individual identifying as “Karra Crowley” sent a message to the BLM Sacramento Facebook page on April 25, 2021, containing derogatory and racist remarks. BLM Sacramento’s Facebook page responded by asserting that Crowley’s information had been verified, disclosing personal details such as her business address and her and her husband’s home.

As a result of the BLM Sacramento posts, Crowley faced threats and offensive messages on her cellphone, as stated in her lawsuit. Crowley expressed her agreement to settle the case with an apology from Faison, stating, “at the end of the day, I wanted it behind me, to say the least.”

Crowley’s lawyer, Jeffrey H. Ochrach, filed a request in federal court in Sacramento, seeking dismissal of the libel suit due to the parties’ court-supervised settlement.

Online records from Placer Superior Court show that Adair is currently facing two felony cases related to unlawfully using a person’s identity and writing fraudulent checks.