Damian Williams, the first black person to be appointed US attorney for the Southern District of New York, was sworn into office Friday and declared the formation of new civil rights unit in his powerful federal prosecutor’s office.
In a ceremony at the Harlem Armory, Williams said that under his leadership, the workplace will focus on, among different issues, what he called “civil rights enforcement.”
“You know and I realize we are living in upset occasions”, Williams said.
“White supremacist groups are on the march. Anti-Semitism is on the march. Anti-Asian bias is on the march. Abuse of the most vulnerable in our society is on the march,” he added.
So I am glad to report today that I have made a fresh out of the plastic new social equality unit in the criminal division of my office.
The new unit will expand on work a current social equality unit in the office’s civil division has carried out for decades, Williams said.
The ceremony which likewise highlighted comments by Sen. Chuck Schumer and Attorney General Merrick Garland was held at the arsenal in a gesture to the “Harlem Hellfighers,” an all-black Army regiment that trained at the facility prior to fighting in World War I under French command.
The head of the Hellfighters, a white legal counselor named William Hayward, filled in as US lawyer for the Southern District of New York after the conflict. During his time in the workplace, Hayward selected the primary individual of color and the main lady to fill in as associate US lawyers.
Around 500 individuals went to Williams swearing in, known as an inauguration service, including previous top federal prosecutors Geoffrey Berman, Preet Bharara, Joon Kim and Audrey Strauss.
Williams, 41, has acquired various high-profile examinations and indictments in his new job, including the Ghislaine Maxwell trial and a continuous test into Rudy Giuliani, who likewise once filled in as US lawyer in the office.