Benjamin Crump

Benjamin Lloyd Crump (born October 10, 1969) is an American attorney who specializes in civil rights and catastrophic personal injury cases such as wrongful death lawsuits. His practice has focused on cases such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and George Floyd, the people poisoned during the Flint water crisis, and the plaintiffs behind the 2019 Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuit alleging the company's talcum powder product led to ovarian cancer diagnoses.[1][2][3][4] Crump is also founder of the firm Ben Crump Law of Tallahassee, Florida.[5]

Benjamin Crump
Attorney Benjamin Crump (50119196322) (cropped).jpg
Crump in 2020
Born
Benjamin Lloyd Crump

(1969-10-10) October 10, 1969 (age 52)
EducationFlorida State University (BS, JD)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Genae Crump
Children1
Websitebencrump.com Edit this at Wikidata

In 2020, Crump became the attorney for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake. In 2021, he became the attorney for a passenger in the car with Winston Boogie Smith and for the family of Daunte Wright. Ongoing cases surrounding their killings or injuries led to protests against police brutality in America as well as internationally.[6]

Due to his legal reputation, he has been referred to as "Black America's attorney general."[7][8][9]

Early life and educationEdit

Benjamin Lloyd Crump was born in Lumberton, North Carolina, near Fort Bragg.[10] The oldest of nine siblings and step-siblings, Crump grew up in an extended family and was raised by his grandmother.[11] His mother Helen worked as a hotel maid and in a local Converse shoe factory.[12] His mother sent him to attend South Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida, where he lived with her second husband, a math teacher, whom Crump regards as his father.[13]

Crump attended Florida State University and received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1992, and his Juris Doctor in 1995.[14] He is a life member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.[14]

CareerEdit

2002–2014: Early career, Martin and Brown casesEdit

In 2002, Crump represented the family of Genie McMeans, Jr., an African-American driver who died after being shot by a white state trooper.[15] In 2007, Crump represented the family of Martin Lee Anderson, an African-American teenager who died after a beating in 2006 by guards in a Florida youth detention center.[16]

In 2012, Crump began representing the family of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012.[17]

Crump also represented Ronald Weekley Jr., a 20-year-old African-American skateboarder beaten by police in Venice, California, in 2012.[18]

Crump also represented the family of Alesia Thomas, a 35-year-old African-American woman who died while in police custody in August 2012.[19] Journalist Chuck Philips reported that during the arrest by Officer Mary O’Callaghan, Thomas was "slammed to the ground, handcuffed behind her back, kicked in the groin, hog-tied and stuffed into the back seat of a patrol car, where she died."[20] Crump demanded that dashboard video of the incident be released, threatening legal action and encouraging Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a federal probe.[20][21] In October 2013, one of the arresting officers was charged with felony assault of Thomas, pleading not guilty.[22] Judge Shelly Torrealba signed off on a request by the district attorney's office to only release the video to prosecutors and defense attorneys. This was to prevent the tainting of potential jury candidates, O'Callaghan's attorney Robert Rico said.[23]

On August 11, 2014, the family of Michael Brown announced that they would be hiring Crump to represent their case, especially as the death had been widely compared to the Trayvon Martin case.[24][25][26] Also in 2014, Crump represented the family of Tamir Rice, an African-American youth who was killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio, while holding a toy gun.[27]

2015–2019: Continued police brutality lawsuitsEdit

 
Crump with U.S. Representative Terri Sewell on the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott

In 2015, Crump represented the family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was killed by three policemen in Pasco, Washington.[28] Also in 2015, he represented the family of Kendrick Johnson, an African-American high-school student who was found dead at his school in Valdosta, Georgia, under mysterious circumstances, but stepped down from their legal team in late 2015.[29][30] In late 2015, Crump began representing the family of Corey Jones, who was killed by a plainclothes officer while waiting for a tow truck in South Florida.[31][32]

In 2016, Crump began representing the family of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man shot and killed by a Tulsa police officer.[33][34]

In 2017 Crump announced the opening of a new law firm, Ben Crump Law, PLLC.[35]

In 2018, Crump represented the family of Zeke Upshaw in a wrongful death suit after Upshaw, an NBA G League player, collapsed midgame and was delayed assistance by the NBA's paramedics.[36] Also in 2018 he became a Board Member for the National Black Justice Coalition.[37]

In 2019, Crump partnered with law firm Pintas & Mullins to hold a number of rallies in Flint, Michigan for communities affected by the Flint water crisis.[4] Also in 2019, Crump began representing a number of plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleging that the company's talc powder was directly related to said-plaintiffs' ovarian cancer diagnoses.[3]

2020 casesEdit

In early 2020, Crump began working with the family of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old African-American man murdered by two white civilians.[38] Around this same time, the family of police shooting-victim Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman, retained Crump for the family's lawsuit alleging excessive force and gross negligence by the Louisville Metro Police Department.[39]

In May 2020, Crump began representing the family of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed African American who was murdered by Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes.[40] Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter; however, an additional second-degree murder charge was added 10 days later, and the three officers also present at the scene were subsequently charged with "aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter."[41] In April 2021, Chauvin was convicted on all three charges. In June 2020 Crump testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about the George Floyd case and the discriminatory treatment of African Americans by the U.S. justice system.

In a two-day span in late August 2020, Crump was among counsel retained to represent the families of Trayford Pellerin, a 31-year-old African American man killed by police in Lafayette, Louisiana,[42] and Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African-American man shot at seven times (hit four times in the back) by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while his children – aged three, five and eight – watched from the car.[43] Crump retained Patrick A. Salvi Sr & Jr as co-counsel.[44]

2021 casesEdit

 
Crump in 2021

In early 2021, Benjamin Crump began representing the family of nineteen-year-old Asian-American Christian Hall, who was shot and killed by Pennsylvania State Troopers in Monroe County. Hall was shot and killed in December 2020 on the overpass to Interstate 80 in Hamilton Township, after reports of a distraught man with a gun on the bridge. Troopers say at one point during negotiations, Hall became uncooperative and pointed the gun in the direction of officers. State Police fired, striking Hall. Attorneys for the family, including Crump, stated that a video circulating online shows a different story.[45]

In April 2021, Crump began representing the family of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African American shot and killed by a Brooklyn Center Police Department officer. Former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said that the officer intended to use her taser, but inadvertently drew her handgun.[46] On December 23, 2021, a Hennepin County, Minnesota jury found the officer who shot him, Kimberly Potter, guilty of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter.[47]

In 2021, Crump and Christopher Seeger announced that they will be representing members of the family of Henrietta Lacks in a lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies that have profited from the cell line HeLa, which is based on cervical cancer cells taken from Lacks without her knowledge in 1951.[48]

Following the Astroworld Festival crowd crush, Crump is representing a concertgoer, Noah Gutierrez, in a lawsuit against Travis Scott. Crump said in a statement, “We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced — the horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying unsuccessfully to save them."[49]

In December 2021, Crump began representing the parents of 14-year-old girl who was fatally shot in a Los Angeles department store. A round aimed by L.A. Police Department response team at an assaulter ricocheted off the floor and passed through the wall of a dressing room where she and her mother had taken refuge, causing her death.[50]

2022 casesEdit

In 2022, Crump represented Amir Locke's family. Locke was shot and killed in January while police were executing a search warrant. See also Killing of Amir Locke

In January of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Jamal Sutherland. He was suffering from a mental health crisis when he was admitted to jail, where he was tased and pepper-sprayed repeatedly, dying shortly after. [51]

In January of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of James Lowery. On December 26, 2021, James Lowery was shot in the back of the head by a Titusville Police Officer. [52]

In January of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Jason Walker who was shot and killed by off-duty Cumberland County deputy Jeffrey Hash on January 8. An eyewitness has stated that she saw Hash’s vehicle hit Walker before the shooting began. [53]

In January of 2022, Ben Crump agreed to take on the case of Autrey Davis a young mother who was killed during a high-speed pursuit by Harris County Sheriff's Deputies on Jan. 12 while driving with her two children in the car, ages two and three, at the time of the accident. [54]

In January of 2022, Ben Crump agreed to take on the case of a family that tragically lost two children and have a third still hospitalized. They were all victims of the devastating fire that consumed a high-rise apartment in the Bronx on Jan. 9.

In January of 2022 Ben Crump was retained by the family of Caleb Walker, an autistic twenty-eight-year-old man who was killed at Oconee Group Home in Lake Mary, Florida by asphyxiation when staff from the group home improperly employed a behavioral restraint on him. [55]

In January of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Valentina Orellana-Peralta. She was struck and killed by an LAPD officer’s stray bullet from his assault rifle while trying on clothes in a North Hollywood store’s dressing room. [56]

In February of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Walter Hutchins, who was shot and killed by two bounty hunters on the night of Wednesday, Feb. 23 while he was in his car in Fifth Ward, Houston. [57]

In February of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Z’Kye Husain, a Black 8th grader who was forcefully detained by Bridgewater Township police officers after a physical altercation occurred at the Bridgewater Commons Mall. [58]

In February of 2022, Ben Crump filed a public records lawsuit against Hollywood Police Department on behalf of Michael Ortiz who was brutally shot in the back and paralyzed while laying face down on the ground naked and in handcuffs. [59]

In March 2022, Crump represented the family of Christian Hall, who was killed by police in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in 2020.

In March of 2022, Ben Crump filed a lawsuit on behalf of April Curley. Curley’s job at Google tasked her with increasing the company’s diversity by recruiting potential employees. Instead, she experienced discrimination and hostility based on her race. [60]

In March of 2022 Ben Crump filed a lawsuit on behalf of Lawyer Denson and Eduardo Gutierrez, two former Amazon delivery employees who were shot by an Amazon customer as they were dropping off packages. Amazon failed to provide them with visible reflective safety vests. [61]

In April 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Manuel Guzman. The 14-year-old victim of a stabbing by a fellow middle school student on April 12 at Northeast Middle School. [62]

In April of 2022, Ben Crump agreed to take on the case of Patrick Lyoya, a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop.

In April 2021, Crump joined the team representing Daunte Wright. Wright was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Bodycam footage from the incident showed that the female officer (Kim Potter) that fired the fatal shot was intending to fire her taser, but instead fired her gun – killing Wright. [63]

In April 2022 Ben Crump filed a lawsuit on behalf of Amazon workers who died and suffered trauma as a result of the tornado in December 2021 at the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville. On April 26, 2022, OSHA issued a hazard alert letter to Amazon, detailing critical and potentially life-saving improvements to be made at the Edwardsville warehouse, where six contractors were killed and many were traumatized when this tragedy occurred. [64]

In May of 2022, Ben Crump was retained by the families of Andre Mackneil and Geraldine Talley, as well as the family of Ruth Whitfield. These are three of thirteen victims of the 2022 Buffalo Shooting on May 14. [65]

In May of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Gwendolyn Osborne, a 72-year-old woman who died from excessive heat exposure at the James Sneider Apartments in Chicago. [66]

In May of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Jalen Randle who was shot and killed by a Houston police officer on April 27. Witnesses affirm that Jalen was running away from police with no visible weapon when he was shot. [67]

In May of 2022, took on the case of Paul Rusesabagina It has been alleged that the Rwandan government kidnapped Rusesabagina, 67, in Dubai and sentenced him to 25 years in prison on sham charges. [68]

In June of 2022, Ben Crump joined the fight for justice for those veterans, active duty service men and women, and base personnel who were harmed by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. For nearly four decades, residents at Camp LeJune military base in North Carolina were exposed to harmful chemicals in the drinking water. These chemicals caused serious health consequences including cancer, birth defects and oral clefts. [69]

In June of 2022, Ben Crump joined the fight for Ebony Crocket. She was the victim of a shooting by a fired Amazon employee who waited for her to leave work at Amazon and then killed her in the parking lot of the facility Brewer had been stalking Crockett for an extended period of time, both at home and at work. [70]

In June of 2022, Ben Crump filed a lawsuit on behalf of the victims at Maclaren Hall who were subjected to sexual and physical abuse by the facility’s employees for years. [71]

In June of 2022, Ben Crump joined the fight for justice in the case of Black financial advisors who endured a pattern racial discrimination by Morgan Stanley. They were forced to secret arbitration and denied the right to collective action after challenging systemic racism at a major brokerage house.

In June of 2022, Ben Crump took on the case of Richard Cox. Mr. Cox was paralyzed after Police officers in New Haven, Connecticut placed him in the back of a van and abruptly stopped, throwing him against the door. [72]

Documentary appearancesEdit

In April 2017, Crump appeared as an attorney on the American reality prime-time court show You the Jury. Later, in December 2017, Crump investigated the murder of Tupac Shakur in the television documentary series Who Killed Tupac? The show narrates an investigation led by Crump, who works with Tupac's brother, Mopreme Shakur.[73] In 2018, Crump hosted a documentary television series on TV One called Evidence of Innocence.[74] The show focused on people who served at least a decade behind bars after being wrongfully convicted of a crime. Crump hoped to "impact the larger society about these larger matters so they can be aware when they go into the courtroom as jurors."[75]

AccoladesEdit

In 2021, Crump was included on the Time 100, Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[76]

BibliographyEdit

  • Crump, Benjamin L. "Ben Crump — the Man Who Represented the Families of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice — Will Not Stop Fighting for Justice."[77] NowThis, 2018.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. "Every Black Person Has Had A 'Starbucks Moment'".[78] HuffPost, April 21, 2018.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. "After Stephon Clark's Death, Shock and Mourning in Communities across the Nation."[79] USA Today, March 29, 2018.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. “Stand Your Ground Is a License to Kill. Repeal It.[80]Miami Herald, February 5, 2018.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. “Libyan Slave Trade Perpetuates The Commodification of Black Bodies.[81]HuffPost, January 5, 2018.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. "Civil Rights Resolutions for a Better America in 2018".[82] CNN, January 2, 2018.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. "The Unsolved Murder of Tupac Shakur Speaks To The Black Male's Experience Nationwide".[83] HuffPost, December 12, 2017.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. “Trump's Response To Charlottesville Was Far Too Little And Way Too Late.[84]HuffPost, August 15, 2017.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. "Only A Just America Will Be A Truly Great America".[85] HuffPost, January 15, 2017.
  • Crump, Benjamin L. "Benjamin Crump: Seven Deaths Cannot Be In Vain".[86] TIME, July 8, 2016.
  • Crump, Benjamin (April 20, 2015). "Will America now challenge the standard police narrative?". United States. Crime. Time. Vol. 185, no. 14 (South Pacific ed.). p. 22.

ReferencesEdit

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  3. ^ a b Dawn, Onley (February 26, 2019). "Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump goes after Johnson and Johnson for marketed baby powder to Black women". The Grio. The Grio. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
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  78. ^ Crump, Benjamin (April 21, 2018). "Every Black Person Has Had A 'Starbucks Moment'". HuffPost. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  79. ^ Crump, Benjamin (March 29, 2018). "After Stephon Clark's death, shock and mourning in communities across the nation". USA Today.
  80. ^ Crump, Benjamin (February 5, 2018). "Stand Your Ground is a license to Kill. Repeal it". Miami Herald. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  81. ^ Crump, Benjamin (January 5, 2018). "Libyan Slave Trade Perpetuates The Commodification of Black Bodies". HuffPost. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  82. ^ Crump, Benjamin (January 2, 2018). "Civil rights resolutions for a better America in 2018". Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  83. ^ Crump, Benjamin (December 17, 2017). "The Unsolved Murder Of Tupac Shakur Speaks To The Black Male's Experience Nationwide". HuffPost. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  84. ^ Crump, Benjamin (August 15, 2017). "Trump's Response To Charlottesville was Fra Too Little And Way Too Late". HuffPost. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  85. ^ Crump, Benjamin (January 15, 2017). "Only A Just America Will Be A Truly Great America". HuffPost. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  86. ^ Crump, Benjamin (July 8, 2016). "Benjamin Crump: Seven Deaths Cannot Be In Vain". TIME. Retrieved June 25, 2018.

External linksEdit