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Damian Williams Becomes the First Black US Attorney in New York

Photo Credit: US Attorney's Office in Manhattan

Last week, Jamaican American Damian Williams became the first Black US Attorney of New York’s Southern District. Williams, a Yale Law School alumnus, clerked for Merrick B. Garland, who is now the US attorney general. His skillset and demeanor have allowed him to hold such high positions, which have only elevated him to this point in his career. Williams served as the Southern District prosecutor for just about a decade. Praise was given to Williams from the

Senate as “the most powerful federal law enforcement” in Manhattan.

Strong recommendation by Senator Chuck Schumer, led President Joe Biden to nominate Williams to the position in August. Alongside Williams will be Breon Peace, who was also nominated by President Joe Biden to lead the federal prosecutor’s office in Brooklyn’s Eastern District. Peace will oversee the Eastern District that most notably prosecuted R. Kelly during his sex-trafficking and racketeering trial last month. The New York University School of Law graduate will lead the prosecution of Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a partner of Donald Trump who was charged earlier this year for lobbying violations as well as obstruction of justice.

“Equality and Justice” are still two tough battles we face with fighting each day not only in the Black community but around the world. Damian Williams and Breon Peace have always dedicated their lives and careers to equal justice under the law, which were the exact words of Mr. Schumer when speaking on behalf of both individuals. It’s one thing to abide by the law, but when you have two individuals who hold a robust passion for the rule of law, justice, and civil rights, that takes unmatched courage.

Williams will direct high-profile cases, which will include a sex trafficking trial set to start next month revolving around Ghislaine Maxwell, who had a long-lasting friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Williams will even be tasked with overseeing the investigation into Rudy Guiliani, the former lawyer who made headlines after claiming former President Donald Trump engaged in illegal activity in Ukraine before the 2020 presidential election. Although history had been made Williams and Peace both have their work cut out for them as they will look to create a more level playing field as the United States continues to struggle with fairness and most importantly equality.


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