Fourteen-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta was killed just days before Christmas by a stray bullet from a police officer, and after her death her family withheld her services. Ben Crump, one of the nation’s most senior civil rights attorneys.
In a series of tweets, Crump calls for action by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers were shooting at a suspect outside a shopping mall locker room when one of the bullets struck and killed Orellana-Peralta.
“This is Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14yo. A few months ago, her family moved to Los Angeles from Chile in search of a better life,” one of the tweets mentioned. “Tragically, Valentina was killed just days before Christmas.”
The Orellana-Peralta case is the latest in a long line of wrongful death lawsuits that have been brought by Crump.
With the rise of race-related police shootings over the past few years, calls for Crump’s services are also growing.
Crump, 52, earned a law degree from Florida State University. After a number of years in practice, Crump’s notoriety increased in 2012 when he represented the family of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch coordinator.
After continuing to participate in more civil rights lawsuits throughout the decade, Crump cemented his place on the national stage in 2020, as he represented the families of many famous victims of police violence.
Most notable is George Floyd, who was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020 after he knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin’s murder conviction and subsequent conviction became the catalyst for continued racial justice reform across the United States.
In addition to Floyd’s case, Crump also represents the family of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot in her Kentucky apartment by Louisville police officers who forcibly entered her residence during a drug investigation.
None of the officers involved in Taylor’s death have been charged, an outcome similar to the shooting Jacob Blake, another case that Crump represents. Blake was shot in the back by police officer Kenosha while trying to climb into his girlfriend’s car, and although Blake survived the shooting, the officer who shot him was not charged.
Regardless of their outcome, these cases, along with significant network television appearances throughout the proceedings, have made Crump one of the most in-demand attorneys in the country. Father Al Sharpton even called Crump “the Attorney General of Negro America.”
While some social media have described Crump as an opportunist who simply takes on famous cases whenever he can, critics have not stopped the lawyer from continuing. continued to handle cases in the past year.
This includes his recent representation to the family Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police officer Kim Potter after she said she mistook her gun for her duty. Potter was found guilty of first and second degree manslaughter in early December.
Crump also has a number of other civil rights cases underway and looks set to continue to be one of America’s most popular attorneys for the foreseeable future.
Newsweek Contacted Crump’s office for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/who-ben-crump-high-profile-attorney-families-following-police-shootings-1663807 Who is Ben Crump, Senior Counsel for Families After Police Shootings?