Attorney Ben Crump representing family of San Antonio teen shot by now-former police officer

Crump, who now represents the family of Erik Cantu, has done work for the families of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Crump said in a Washington Post interview that he only takes on cases that "shock the conscience" of the American people. - Wikimedia Commons / Lorie Shaull
Wikimedia Commons / Lorie Shaull
Crump said in a Washington Post interview that he only takes on cases that "shock the conscience" of the American people.
The family of Erik Cantu, the teen shot and critically wounded by a now-fired SAPD officer in a McDonald's parking lot, has retained high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

Crump has represented the families of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown among others, becoming almost a household name during the Black Lives Matter groundswell. During a Washington Post interview, the Florida-based lawyer said he turns down dozens of cases annually, only taking on those that "shock the conscience" of the American people.

"It should go without saying that our children should be able to eat a meal in peace without being gunned down by police, but here we are — yet again," Crump said in a statement emailed to the Current. "Erik was unarmed and simply eating a cheeseburger when this officer violated his Fourth Amendment rights by opening his car door, violently accosting and shooting at him 10 times. These charges are woefully inadequate considering the level of violence that this officer inflicted on the victims in the car."

The former officer in question, James Brennand, was fired from the force days after the Oct. 2 shooting. Last week, he was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault by a peace officer. He's now out on a $200,000 bond.

Local police accountability activists have also said the charges against Brennand don't go far enough. Ananda Tomas,  executive director of police reform group Act 4 SA Ananda Tomas last week told the Current that she thinks attempted murder would be a more appropriate charge.

As of Oct. 15, Cantu remained in critical condition at a local hospital, according to a statement from Brian Powers, another attorney for the Cantu family.

"We lift Erik and his family up in prayer as he fights for his life, and we will continue to push for justice in his name," Crump said in a statement.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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