State Watch

Civil rights attorney who represented Floyd family running for Texas AG

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represented the family of George Floyd, on Tuesday announced he was entering the Democratic primary for Texas attorney general. 

“I’ve seen the generational impact of the prison-industrial complex and injustice of mass incarceration in my own family. I’ve spent my legal career helping families unjustly affected by this broken system,” Merrit said in a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday. 

“Now I’m running for Texas Attorney General to make some real changes.”

In a video announcement,  with Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” playing in the background, Merritt also hit current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who he said “pledged his allegiance to Donald Trump” while ignoring the concerns of Texans.

“That’s the only person he’s picking up the phone for, not the people of Texas, not the victims of violent crimes or police brutality, not our neighbors who froze to death,” Merritt said. 

Merritt also touched on the battle over voting rights in Texas, a day after Democratic lawmakers fled the state in order to deny Republicans the quorum necessary to pass an elections overhaul bill.

In addition to working with the family of Floyd, the Black man killed by Minneapolis police last summer, Merritt’s video also shows him representing the families of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man pursued and fatally shot while jogging in Georgia in February 2020, and Botham Jean, a Black male who was shot by an off-duty police officer in his own apartment in 2018.

Merritt joined a crowded race for Paxton’s position that includes former Dallas Mayor Joe Jaworksi (D), current state Land Commissioner George P. Bush (R) and former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman (R), according to the Texas Tribune.

Tags Botham Jean killing Dallas Donald Trump George Floyd death Lee Merritt Texas Texas Attorney General

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