Shirley Sherrod on Andrew Breitbart: Death 'a Surprise' [VIDEOS]

Shirley Sherrod, the U.S. Agriculture Departure official who was forced out of her job after an edited video of remarks she made to the NAACP was posted by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart to paint her as racist, took the high road Thursday after learning of Breitbart's death.

The news of Mr. Breitbart's death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning, Sherrod said in a statement sent to International Business Times by her attorney, Thomas Clare. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart's family as they cope during this very difficult time. I do not intend to make any further comments.

Controversy surrounding Sherrod, who was Georgia state director of rural development for the Agriculture Department, exploded in July 2010 when Breitbart posted an edited video of Sherrod's speech to the NAACP that made it sound as if Sherrod was making racist comments about white farmers.

The full video vindicated Sherrod, but all she got was an apology from the Agriculture Department.

Sherrod sued Breitbart for defamation. Breitbart's attorneys claimed the video is protected under the First Amendment.

The defamation suit is pending and Breitbart's death does not mean the case dies with him, according to the Legal Times.

Clare declined to say whether Sherrod will withdraw the suit in wake of Breitbart's death.

Shirley Sherrod edited video:

Unedited version:

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