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Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt announces 2022 run for Texas Attorney General

“Texas deserves an attorney general that will fight for the constitutional rights of all citizens,” tweeted Merritt.
Credit: AP
Attorney S. Lee Merritt testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on police use of force and community relations on on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP)

Civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt has announced he’s running for Texas Attorney General in 2022 via his social media pages Saturday.

“Texas deserves an attorney general that will fight for the constitutional rights of all citizens,” tweeted Merritt.

In a video posted Saturday evening, Merritt said he didn’t plan to announce his run for the position this soon. 

He expressed how his concerns for a lack of inaction and the lack of resources available for people in mental health crisis in Texas led to his decision on the heels of the death of Marvin Scott III.

Scott died at the Collin County jail after seven guards tried to restrain him in a cell on Sunday, March 14. Those employees have been placed on leave while the Texas Rangers conduct an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

Merrit is the attorney for the Scott family. He told WFAA that Scott's mental health crisis was not appropriately addressed by police and detention officers.

RELATED: Collin County sheriff describes events that led to Marvin Scott's in-custody death

Following a discussion with a reporter on who’s responsible for ensuring that law enforcement isn’t killing people in the process of getting them to mental health clinics, and the poor training of police officers dealing with people in mental health crisis, Merritt said it was Ken Paxton’s responsibility.

Ken Paxton has been the state's attorney general since 2014. 

“If he didn’t do his job, I said I will take his job. It’s clear he doesn’t want to do his job, so I decided to go ahead and take it,” said Merritt.

Merritt has notedly represented the families of Black men and woman who have been killed in officer-involved shootings, including Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson and recently UNT student Darius Tarver.