Civil rights attorney calls for DOJ investigation into Rutherford County assistant DA

Ben Crump Presser_frame_23558 (1).jpeg
Posted at 9:30 AM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 19:46:44-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nationally recognized civil rights attorney Ben Crump is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Rutherford County assistant district attorney for his alleged “racial profiling” and “discrimination" against racial minorities.

Crump and those affected commented on the allegations Tuesday morning from the Rutherford County Judicial Center. Three men — two of which from Free At Last Bail Bonding — explained ADA John Zimmerman was making hard to practice business in the county.

"The Department of Justice exists so that no citizen is discriminated against, even corporate citizens," Crump said. "They want to make sure their business isn't infringed upon because it's a minority owned business. Are there others that have experienced this bias targeting?

Civil rights attorney calls for DOJ investigation into Rutherford County assistant DA

Crump, who is representing minority-owned businesses, alleges that Assistant District Attorney John Zimmerman “used his position and power to target minority businesses.”

"Zimmerman called our insurance company to call us a ponzi schemes," Free At Last Bail Bonding owner Ken Holmes said. "We are in other 60 other counties where we are in good standing. We do business and do it well. The one thing that's been overwhelming is how much opposition."

Crump also said there are accounts of Zimmerman using racial slurs. That happened to Mario Hambrick, when he tried to open up his own business a decade earlier in Nashville, where Zimmerman was at the time.

"When we opened our business 15 years ago and was getting licensed, John Zimmerman called for all these investigations and was upset he couldn't find anything on me and my partners records," Hambrick said. "It took us a long time to get open. He called us thugs and punks. He hassled us."

In the past, Crump has also represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin.

"A government official calling to disparage you is appalling," Crump said. "We want these investigated to the highest levels of the government."