ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The attorney for George Floyd's family recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Channel 9 investigative reporter Daralene Jones.
When Floyd was killed, attorney Ben Crump, who first gained national prominence when he took on the Trayvon Martin case, was already representing families in two other high-profile brutality cases.
There is no case too small for the civil rights attorney, including one playing out right now in the Orlando federal court system against an Orlando police officer on behalf of a homeless man Terre Johnson.
Jones: Why is the Terre Johnson case so important?
Crump: If we don't do something to deter the conduct in that video by the Orlando Police Department, that culture and behavior festers, and then you have what happened to George Floyd. The George Floyd police officer had 18 complaints.
Crump now represents the Floyd family; the family of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man in Brunswick, Georgia shot and killed by a former police office, while out on a jog; Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot and killed in her Louisville, Kentucky home when police executed a "no-knock" warrant for drugs never found; and Sean Reed, a Black man shot and killed while running away from Indianapolis police. All of them were killed this year.
“People keep trying to argue, well it’s the protesters that have started these cities to burn. I object. It’s not the protesters that started these fires to burning,” Crump said. “It is police brutality and a racist criminal justice system and the only way to extinguish these fires is to have police accountability and equal justice.”
The city of Orlando is arguing the officer involved in Johnson’s case should be protected from the lawsuit because he was acting under his authority as a police officer, also known as qualified immunity.
A federal judge disagreed, but the city is now appealing, delaying the trial.
Jones: There's very little monetary reward in what you're doing. Why do you keep doing it?
Crump: It's really about the future of our children, the future of giving them the right to live and breathe.
Johnson’s case was scheduled for trial in July, but a judge will have to rule on that appeal first.
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