By HOWARD MANN
GLENN DALE – Attorney Benjamin Crump, nationally renowned for his work in social justice cases involving Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., and Tamir Rice, among others, had a warning Saturday for his audience at Glenn Dale Golf Club.
“My heart tells me if we don’t do all we can to get Mike Lyles elected as the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County, the next day after the election and every day after that we will regret it,” Crump said at a Team Lyles event. “We’ll look in the mirror and say we wish we had done more. We don’t want to live in regret.”
He expressed his belief that Lyles is the best person for the job. The two worked together in the past, within the National Bar Association and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Crump said he didn’t mind forgoing sleep Friday and catching a pre-dawn flight in order to arrive on time.
“We really need people like Mike for due process of the law and fair administration of justice,” he said.
Crump said his experience on high-profile cases with massive media coverage illustrate the importance of the State’s Attorney Office. Having the right person serve as a jurisdiction’s top prosecutor is vitally important to ensure justice isn’t denied. Crump has seen that happen too many times, whether it’s guilty parties getting off or minor offenders being hammered.
“We’re here for Mike because we know he won’t treat your children any differently than he would treat anybody else’s child, no matter what race, ethnicity, class or status,” Crump said. “Mike is a person who understands civil rights because that’s what he’s been doing as director of the Prince George’s County’s Human Rights Commission. He knows what it means to fight for civil rights.”
Lyles, a former two-term Bowie City Council member with more than 20 years of law practice in and out of government, also serves as co-chair of the Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force. In that capacity, he played a vital role in the county securing a $1.3 million grant last month from the Department of Justice.
“I don’t want you to elect me because you know me as a friend,” Lyles told the audience. “I want you to elect me because I have a track record of doing what I say and making things work the way they should work.”