First black Manhattan US legal professional Damian Williams sworn in

Damian Williams, the very first black person to be appointed US attorney for the Southern District of New York, was sworn into business office Friday — and declared the formation of a new civil rights unit in his impressive federal prosecutor’s business. 

In a ceremony at the Harlem Armory, Williams explained that under his management, the business will prioritize, among other challenges, what he identified as “civil rights enforcement.” 

“You know and I know we are dwelling in troubled periods,” Williams reported.

“White supremacist groups are on the march. Anti-Semitism is on the march. Anti-Asian bias is on the march. Abuse of the most susceptible in our culture is on the march,” he added. 

“So I am happy to announce now that I have developed a brand name new civil legal rights unit in the prison division of my office.”

The new unit will build on operate an existing civil legal rights unit in the office’s civil division has carried out for a long time, Williams claimed.

Damien Williams at his investiture ceremony on Nov. 19, 2021.
Alec Tabak
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the swearing in ceremony of Damien Williams at the Harlem Armory on November 19, 2021 in New York.
Legal professional Typical Merrick Garland designed an visual appeal at the ceremony.
Alec Tabak
Sen. Chuck Schumer also appeared at Williams' ceremony.
Sen. Chuck Schumer also appeared at Williams’ ceremony.
Alec Tabak

The ceremony — which also showcased remarks by Sen. Chuck Schumer and Legal professional Standard Merrick Garland — was held at the armory in a nod to the “Harlem Hellfighers,” an all-black Military regiment that qualified at the facility prior to fighting in Globe War I beneath French command.

The leader of the Hellfighters, a white lawyer named William Hayward, served as US lawyer for the Southern District of New York soon after the war. Throughout his time in the business, Hayward appointed the first black guy and the 1st female to serve as assistant US attorneys. 

Col William Hayward standing in a trench where his troops train for the war in Europe.
Col. William Hayward standing in a trench where by his troops prepare for the war in Europe.
Underwood Archives/Getty Visuals
United States Attorney-elect for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams, right, and his wife, Jennifer Nicole Wynn, listen to the national anthem during Williams' swearing-in ceremony, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021
Williams reported that men and women are now “living in troubled moments.”
Jeenah Moon/AP

About 500 folks attended Williams’ swearing in, recognised as an investiture ceremony, together with previous top rated federal prosecutors Geoffrey Berman, Preet Bharara, Joon Kim and Audrey Strauss.

Williams, 41, has inherited a range of high-profile investigations and prosecutions in his new function, such as the Ghislaine Maxwell demo and an ongoing probe into Rudy Giuliani, who also once served as US lawyer in the place of work.       

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