How Civil-Rights Lawyer Drew Attention to Martin Shooting


The prosecutor investigating the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fl., has not decided if she will bring charges against shooter George Zimmerman. It took several weeks for the Feb. 26 shooting to draw the nation’s attention. Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin’s family, launched a campaign to get the case before media and civil rights activists nationwide.

Two days after the shooting, the high-profile civil rights attorney started getting calls about the case. “My phone was buzzing,” Crump says. Crump, whose firm’s motto is “We Help David Fight Goliath,” initially didn’t think there would be any reason to take the case. When he heard Trayvon Martin was unarmed, he assumed the Sanford Police Department would make an arrest. “A neighborhood watch volunteer with a 9 mm gun? And he kills your son, who’s an unarmed teenager? They’re going to arrest him,” he recalls telling those who approached him about the case. There was no arrest. So Crump and Trayvon’s parents began holding news conferences to tell their side of the story.

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