Black Boys Are Not Safe on Our Streets

Attorney Benjamin Crump talks about the new Trayvon Martins, a brutal death and the fears for all black sons.

(Continued from Page 1)

Kendrick Johnson (courtesy of the Johnson family); Kendrick Johnson postmortem (courtesy of the Johnson family's attorney) 


How could these undeniable facts have been lost on the medical examiners in the first autopsy?

The only reasonable answer is that Johnson was young, black and dead.

It seems that unarmed young black males are so threatening that Skittles (in Trayvon Martin's hand) are a deadly weapon, their routine traffic stops end in paralyzing gunfights and their murders are written off as accidental.

Crump has been recognized for his outstanding work by his selection to The Root 100 for 2013. He spoke exclusively to The Root about these new cases for which he seeks justice, about the legacy of the Trayvon Martin case and the precedent set by Zimmerman's acquittal.

The Root: After the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, many black Americans were convinced that we still live in a separate-and-unequal society. As you prepare to defend the victims, Kendrick Johnson and Leon Ford Jr., and their families, what is your message? Do you believe the U.S. court system is ever capable of delivering actual justice on behalf of young African-American males?


Benjamin Crump: I was demoralized by the Zimmerman verdict, but we must all stay on the front lines. Before the Zimmerman verdict, I had said that the Trayvon Martin case was going to set a precedent -- and it did. Sadly, it set a precedent that the lives of young black males were disposable, and our justice system reiterated that with the verdict it delivered. But I will not stand idly by and let that be a commentary on our time.