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Civil Rights Attorney: Black People Have it Worse in the Courtroom Than the Streets

Ben crump, civil rights attorney

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump says people of color fare worse in the courtroom than when they’re killed on the streets.

Crump acknowledges that it’s “terrible” what happened to Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and others, but that the justice system is designed against Black people.

“It is far worse what happens in courtrooms every day in America … any city you go to,” he told EBONY. “It’s bad when they kill us on the street corner, but it’s even worse when they kill us in the courtroom with these trumped-up felony charges.”

Crump, who has a new show on TV One called Evidence of Innocence that “chronicles four people arrested and jailed for crimes they didn’t commit before being freed,” according to, said that Black and Brown people get tougher sentences than White people, even when they have similar records.

“You have little Billy and little Becky, these young White people and they get a slap on the wrist,” he says. “Then you have these Black people … they never get the benefit of the doubt, the benefit of possibility, the benefit of consideration. They get taken over to the corner, they get fingerprinted, they get handcuffed and they get convicted.”

He said people of color who have been charged with felonies have to wear the burden of their convictions for the rest of their lives.


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