Benjamin Lloyd Crump is an African American Civil Rights lawyer and hero who is best known as Black America's Attorney General. Benjamin Crump started his legal justice crusade with the case of Genie McMeans Jr in 2002. Ben is the oldest of nine siblings, who was born on October 10, 1969 to Helen Crump.
Benjamin Crump attended South Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida. After graduating from high school in 1987, he attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida where he received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1992. Crump received a Juris Doctor (JD) degree also at Florida State University in 1995. He is a life member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity in which he found the meaning of brotherhood.
Crump’s legal career as a defender of black lives at the hands of police or white supremist vigilante violence, began when he represented the family of Genie McMeans Jr, an African American driver who was shot by Kreshawn Walker-Vergenz, a white female state trooper. She was later cleared of the shooting by a Leon County, Florida grand jury. In 2007, Crump represented the family of Martin Lee Anderson, an African American teenager who died after being beaten by a guard at the Bay County Boot Camp Florida Youth Detention Center in 2006. Eight people including a nurse were acquitted on charges of aggravated manslaughter of Anderson.
In 2012, Ben took on his first nationally recognized case when he represented the family of Trayvon Martin who was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. In 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Martin. This case launched Attorney Crump into public notoriety and became a household name. Ben also represented Ronald Weekley Jr, a 20-year-old African American skateboarder who was beaten by the police in Venice, California in 2012.
In August 2012 Ben represented the family of Alesia Thomas, 35-year-old African American women who died in police custody in August 2012. Police officer Mary Callaghan was later sentenced to three years in jail in 2015. In 2014, Crump represented the family of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old man who was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. That same year, Crump represented the family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African American teen who was killed by the police while holding a toy gun in Cleveland, Ohio. Crump also represented the families of Kendrick Johnson, Antonio Zambrono Montes, Terrence Crutcher, and Zeke Upshaw.
In 2017, Crump opened Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Two years later he became the lawyer for plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit because of lead-filled water in Flint, Michigan. He partnered with the Flint law firm of Pintas and Mullins which held rallies to bring national attention to the Flint Water Crisis. Also, in 2019 Crump represented plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson on behalf of plaintiffs who blamed the company’s talcum powder for their developing ovarian cancer. The Flint and Johnson and Johnson cases are still being adjudicated.
Crump has written a book, Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People, about his experiences. The award-winning attorney exposes a heinous truth in Open Season: Whether with a bullet or a lengthy prison sentence, America is killing black people and justifying it legally. While some deaths make headlines, most are personal tragedies suffered within families and communities. Worse, these killings are done one person at a time, so as not to raise alarm. While it is much more difficult to justify killing many people at once, in dramatic fashion, the result is the same—genocide.
In 2020, Crump became one of the legal representatives of the families of five new victims of racially motivated hate crimes : Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake. He is married to Dr. Genae Angelique Crump, is the proud father of Brooklyn Zeta Crump, and the guardian of two adopted cousins, Chancellor Isiah Crump and Jemarcus Olajuwan Crump.
Although many of the high profile criminal cases have not been victorious in criminal court, it is worth noting that Attorney Benjamin Crump is a “civil rights” attorney and not a criminal defense attorney. Legend has it that Black America’s Attorney General Benjamin Crump has never lost a case in civil litigation. Ben Crump Law, in 2016, it has expanded to 13 cities with a dozen attorneys and of counsel relationships with 50 more. A Netflix documentary about his life and career is also under production.
• Benjamin Crump is an attorney who has represented defendants in high profile cases.
• He has represented Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Breonna Taylor among others.
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All featured faces of Black History are not captured in the 2021 theatre production.