Prominent civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the families of Atatiana Jefferson and Botham Jean, plans to challenge Ken Paxton for the Texas Attorney General, according to KERA.
Merritt also represents the family of Marvin Scott III, a black man who died in Collin County Jail on Sunday. Scott was arrested Sunday for allegedly possessing marijuana. Merritt has said the arrest was inappropriate and that Scott was suffering from a mental crisis when he was arrested, according to KXAS Channel 5.
“I have decided that in this case I will run for attorney general against Ken Paxton in 2022,” Merritt told KERA.
Paxton, who faces securities fraud and is under investigation by the FBI, is running for election in 2022. He was first elected in 2014 to serve as the highest-ranking prosecutor in the state.
According to the KERA report, Merritt would like to run for the position that will help ensure equal treatment of people with disabilities and blacks in the legal system.
“It will destroy this condition if we don’t address this because they will keep killing us. Law enforcement will continue to kill people suffering from mental crisis and it will cause additional trauma for the community, “Merritt said.
Jefferson was shot dead in her home by former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean in October 2019. Jean was shot dead in his apartment by former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger in September 2018.
The Texas Attorney General’s filing deadline in 2022 has not yet opened. It is unclear which political party Merritt would run in.
Galveston attorney Joe Jaworski has announced that he will run for attorney general as a Democrat.