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Attorney Ben Crump to participate in local panel discussion on bail reform, over-policing

Ben Crump will appear at Livingstone College to discuss bail reform and over-policing on March 23, 2023.
Tony Webster
Wikimedia Commons
Ben Crump will appear at Livingstone College to discuss bail reform and over-policing on March 23, 2023.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is scheduled to lead a conversation on national bail reform and over-policing on Thursday at Livingstone College.

“Equal Justice Now” organized the panel discussion. The social welfare organization advocates against false arrests, wrongful convictions and incarceration.

Crump has represented families in several high-profile cases, including the family of George Floyd, a Black man murdered by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020. Crump is also the national spokesperson for the group.

Thomas Lucas, a senior representative for Equal Justice Now, said one goal of the event is to inform the public about the criminal justice system.

“People will end up in a better position in traffic stops, in the courtroom, if they knew their rights, if they understood their rights," Lucas said. ”We felt that it was important to get in front of students, the next generation to come in society and educate them.”

Thomas Lucas
Elvis Menayese
Thomas Lucas posted up in front of the Equal Justice Now tour bus.

Panelists and representatives linked to the criminal justice system will participate in the discussion, including Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden and District Attorney Spencer Merriweather.

Lucas says he wants people to know that “Equal Justice Now” stands for all people’s rights and that finding common ground is vital to making changes in society.

“As we're living in this country where we have Democrats and Republicans and left and right, to remember that actual change doesn't come from just being all the way left or all the way right,” Lucas said. “It comes from meeting in the middle. It comes from having an open mind, an open brain, an open perspective, even if it doesn't feel right at first.”

The discussion will be held on Thursday, March 23, from 1-5 p.m. at the historically Black college in Salisbury. The event is free, and tickets are available online. The conversation will occur at Livingstone College Varick Auditorium, 701 W.Monroe St.

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Elvis Menayese is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race and equity for WFAE. He previously was a member of the Queens University News Service. Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health and Wells Fargo.