Anderson, a 14 year-old Black teenager, was beaten and kicked by Florida guards. His family sought justice by looking for a lawyer. It was not an easy task for white lawyers to accept the case.
This was Ben Crump's first national high-profile civil right case. Crump is a Black Florida attorney. Crump is now a familiar face at nearly every major civil rights case across the country.
Leon Russell, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, stated that Ben has been a champion for justice and shines a light upon things that are wrong.
Anderson's staff were cleared of any criminal charges. Crump won a civil case later for his family.
This was just the beginning.
George Zimmerman was not the first to be arrested when Trayvon Martin, 17 years old, was shot and killed at a condo complex in Sanford. Zimmerman, whose father was white and his mother was Hispanic, was an armed neighborhood watcher. He later claimed self-defense, and was eventually acquitted on murder charges.
Martin was wearing a hoodie, which would soon become an iconic photograph, as he returned to his father's condo with a can and Skittles from a convenience store when Zimmerman confronted him.
Crump was a strong advocate for Zimmerman's arrest, and he joined other prominent civil rights leaders in demonstrating for Zimmerman’s conviction.
The Trayvon Martin case was what sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. Crump, the Rev., deserves a lot of the credit. In an interview with The Associated Press, Jesse Jackson stated these words.
Jackson stated, "It was an entirely new stream of consciousness." "We made a decision that we are not going back. All the rest has resulted from that. Do Black lives really matter? It made a huge difference."
Crump was Black America’s attorney general because of his tireless work in civil rights cases, particularly those that involve Black people who were killed by police. Crump stated that he doesn't take this label lightly in an interview.
Crump stated, "I try to be as sincere as possible to give voice to those who are silent." "If I can see farther, it's because my eyes are able to see beyond the clouds.
Crump, 52 years old, was one of nine children born in Lumberton in North Carolina. He went on to attend high school in Plantation in Florida. It was Florida State University, where Crump went to college and law school. After that, Crump joined Daryl Parks' law firm in Tallahassee. They were assigned to the Martin Lee Anderson case.
Crump now has his own company, which handles civil rights cases throughout the country. To illustrate the importance of standing up for Black victims of injustice, Crump recites an African proverb.
Crump stated, "As long the lion hunter gets the story of his hunt, and the animals never get the story, then all glory will always go the lion hunter." "Unless you have the history of the culture to pass down generation after generation, we will repeat the mistakes we made."
Crump is often seen wherever a civil rights case is being investigated. He still lives in Tallahassee alongside his wife Genae, assistant principal at Leon County's public school for at-risk children, Brooklyn. He has been awarded financial settlements in more than 200 cases of police brutality, including the $27 million settlement that George Floyd's family received in the notorious Minneapolis case.
He is not without its critics. Samaria Rice (the mother of 12-year old Tamir Rice), was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2014. She was holding a toy gun.
Samaria Rice stated that they should "step aside, stand back and stop monopolizing or capitalizing our fight to justice and human right." She also asked Crump if he understood Ohio law. She wrote that she fired Crump after 6-8 months of Tamir's case.
Jackson marched alongside the Rev. Jackson, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. when King was assassinated 1968, stated that Crump is part the new generation civil rights leaders.
"Now, we have people at both the national and state levels to hold people responsible. Jackson stated that justice will be served.
Crump said that Trayvon Martin's case is a clear example of the need for more work.
"Are you making progress?" He asked. When we think of America's history, Trayvon Martins and the unknown Trayvon Marts are what I think about most often. Who tells their stories? Each day is an opportunity to create history.