Benjamin Lloyd Crump (1969- )

Attorney Ben Crump announces a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis on behalf of the family of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police officers. The press conference was held outside the Diana E. Murphy U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis on July 15, 2020
Courtesy Tony Webster (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Benjamin Lloyd Crump is an American Civil Rights lawyer who is best known as the attorney of the families of Black Lives Matter victims starting with the case of Genie McMeans Jr in 2002. Crump, the oldest of nine siblings, was born on October 10, 1969 to Helen Crump and an unnamed father. 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 member of Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities.

Crump’s legal career as a defender of black lives at the hands of police or 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 included a nurse were acquitted on charges of aggravated manslaughter of Anderson.

Father of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin (left), Mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton (center), and Attorney Ben Crump (right) leaving the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center after a bond hearing for George Zimmerman, April 20, 2012, Sanford, FL
© John Raoux/AP, Fair use image

In 2012, Crump 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. Crump also represented Ronald Weekley Jr, a 20-year-old African American skateboarder who was beating by the police in Venice, California in 2012. The case would also be a loss in court for Crump.

In August 2012 Crump 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.

In 2020, Crump became one of the legal representatives of the families of five Black Lives Matter victims: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Trayferd Pellerin, and Jacob Blake. Crump is married to Dr. Genae Angelique Crump. He has one son, Brooklyn Zeta Crump. He also the guardian of two adopted cousins, Chancellor Isiah Crump and Jemarcus Olajuwan Crump. Crump lives in Tallahassee, Florida.