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Attorney for Trayvon Martin's family to speak April 14 at Wayne Law

April 03, 2014

DETROIT – Benjamin Crump, the attorney who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, will share reasons for seeking the repeal of Michigan’s stand-your-ground law Monday, April 14, at Wayne State University Law School.

Martin, a 17-year-old African American, was shot dead by George Zimmerman during an altercation Feb. 26, 2012, in Florida. The subsequent trial and Zimmerman’s acquittal in June 2013 made worldwide headlines. Zimmerman’s successful plea was that he had acted in self-defense, although Martin was unarmed, and that under Florida’s stand-your-ground statute, Zimmerman had the right to do what he did.

Crump, a Florida civil rights attorney, will present “Should Michigan’s Stand Your Ground Law Be Repealed? Ask Trayvon Martin,” sharing his and the Martin family’s reasons for the repeal of the stand-your-ground law not only in the state of Florida but in 23 other states, including Michigan, that have similar laws. Crump is speaking as part of his crusade to amend stand-your-ground laws around the country.

The event will be from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the Lecture Hall (Room 2242) of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne Law, 471 W. Palmer St. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. Register by contacting Marti Knight at (313) 577-3620 or martha.knight@wayne.edu.

Parking will be available for $6.50 (credit and debit cards only) in Structure One across West Palmer Street from the law school.

The event is sponsored by the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, Wolverine Bar Association and Association of Black Judges in Michigan.

Crump and his law partner, Daryl Parks, have provided legal representation in numerous high-profile cases. Presently, Crump is co-counsel for the family of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, who was found dead in a wrestling mat in a Valdosta, Ga., high school gym. In 2009, Crump was co-counsel for the African-American plaintiffs who sued the St. Joe Paper Co. for selling them wetland in Florida that caused their homes to fall apart as they sunk into the ground. And in 2001, Crump and Parks represented Zaniyah Hinson in a case discussed on the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” where a 2-year-old died after being left in a day-care van for hours in 104-degree temperatures.

Crump is vice president of the National Bar Association, a board member of the Florida Bar Foundation and recently served as chairman for the Florida State University College of Law Board of Directors.

He and Parks have endowed scholarships at several Florida universities and colleges. As board chairman of Legal Services of North Florida, Crump donated $1 million to the organization’s capital campaign to ensure that poor people would continue to have quality legal representation and access to the courts. For their philanthropy, Parks and Crump were named Philanthropists of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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