A union representing Broward sheriff’s deputies filed a bar complaint against widely known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump. According to the South Florida Sentinel, he’s been accused of making the rough arrest of a Black teen into a racial issue. The union claims race was not a factor.
In 2019, 15-year-old Delucca Rolle tried to pick up a cellphone dropped by one of his fellow students who was arrested for fighting. Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies Christopher Krickovich and Greg LaCerra were caught on video attempting to arrest Rolle too but by smashing him into the ground and pepper spraying him, according to the Miami New Times. Crump described the situation as “outrageous brutality on an unarmed Black child.”
Was he wrong? The Black community has seen violent arrests turn deadly before.
Read Crump’s reaction to the suit from South Florida Sentinel:
On Thursday, Crump told the South Florida Sentinel that it’s a First Amendment issue.
“It’s a blow to freedom and justice for police to threaten and intimidate civil-rights lawyers to try and stop them from making statements in defense of their clients,” Crump said. “We will not allow these organizations to suppress the rightful expression of outrage by anyone — the Black community, the family, and least of all their lawyers. We will continue to say Delucca Rolle’s name and advocate for change.”
Crump also told a television station that charges against the officers should be upgraded to felonies. But the deputies’ union took issue with the comments, saying in a bar complaint Thursday his words were “reckless and inflammatory.”
“Not one piece of evidence or testimony in this trial ever suggested racism was involved,” the union’s complaint reads. “Attorney Ben Crump’s comments regarding race being a factor at the onset of this case was deplorable.”
The union also came for Crump’s legal partner Sue-Ann Robinson. After the cops got off for the incident, she said this was another situation “where the criminal justice system is failing Black people.” The complaint alleges her comments were a “blatant disregard” to the lawyers’ oath of admission.
Sigh. Call a spade a spade. But isn’t it strange when white people try to tell Black folks what is and isn’t racist? In reality we are the ones who experience it. We see it every time a cop interacts with a Black person. Ignoring the racism embedded in the criminal “justice” system ignores a widespread issue that is sometimes fatal for Black people.
The union ultimately wants to see Crump and Robinson lose their law licenses, per the Sentinel. We’ll see if their complaint holds any weight.