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'We want a better America': Prominent civil rights attorney talks race and criminal justice system

Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 17:57:19-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, Esq. appeared in a virtual symposium Friday afternoon.

Crump has worked on several high-profile cases, including the investigations involving George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, and Breonna Taylor to name a few.

The Men of Color Symposium, hosted by the University of Kentucky, provided a space to engage in conversations and topics that affect men of color every day.

In his speech, Crump said he believes there are two separate justice systems in America: one for White America and one for Black America.

"We want a better America," Crump said. "A more just America."

He said the Breonna Taylor case is a prime example of this.

"When it's black people, it seems like they can shoot first and ask questions later," Crump said. "Please understand me. We're not saying we want them to shoot and kill them like you shoot and kill us, but what we are saying is just like you don't shoot and kill them, don't shoot and kill us because we love our children too."

He said the events of January 6, 2021 were another example of this dual reality.

"Nobody detained them [rioters]," he said. "Nobody tried to apprehend them. Nobody was arrested, but you see all these Black Lives Matter protests, these young black people exercising their first amendment rights peacefully, where they're pepper sprayed, they're tear gassed, and they're arrested and oftentimes charged with felonies."

Crump said these dangerous parallels will continue to exist until we all fight for systematic reform, and make sure that all Americans truly achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"We got to fight for our children until hell freezes over," he said at the Symposium. "And then at that point we got to be prepared to fight on the ice."