In a USA Today op-ed published Tuesday, Ben Crump, the lawyer for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more Black people killed by police, outlined who he'd like to see lead the Biden justice department. And he put a familiar face at the top of the list: Tony West, a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations who happens to be Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' brother-in-law.
After an "exhausting" 2020 spent fighting for civil rights and "speaking truth to power," Crump wrote that he's cautiously optimistic "President-elect Joe Biden and his still-unnamed attorney general will be our partner in the hard work of repairing our criminal justice system." After all, Biden "ran on an ambitious criminal justice reform platform" that included promises "to end federal private prisons, mandatory minimum sentencing and the federal death penalty," among others, Crump wrote. "Moved by Biden's promises, Black voters carried him to victory in the presidential election," and now it's time for Biden to nominate an attorney general "committed to delivering the Constitution's promises of justice and equality," Crump continued.
To Crump, the choice here is clear. West ran the Justice Department's Civil Division under former Attorney General Eric Holder, where he "led various efforts to reduce racial bias, improve procedural fairness, strengthen the relationship between communities of color and law enforcement, and hold police departments accountable," Crump wrote. And while he's gone on to work in the private sector, West has "always remained a public servant at heart," Crump concluded.
Biden has so far revealed top picks for his communications and economic teams, as well as his choice for Homeland Security secretary. All of his cabinet picks will have to pass a Senate vote, and Crump notes West most recently was approved 98-1 to be associate attorney general.