Damian Williams Confirmed By The Senate As The First Black U.S. Attorney In Manhattan


March 30, 2021

Way to take a bite out of the Big Apple!

Damian Williams is set to make history as the first Black U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, The New York Times reports.


The 41-year-old is a Brooklyn native whose parents are Jamaican immigrants. He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, and Yale Law School. He served as a judicial clerk to then-appeals court judge Merrick Garland, who is currently Biden’s attorney general, and joined the U.S. attorney’s office in 2012. He is currently the Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Williams’ advocacy for equal justice under the law and “tremendous legal acumen” has made him a prime candidate for the new position. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer recommended Williams; now, he will become the first Black U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. This is the highest-profile position in the Justice Department.


“These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said.

The veteran prosecutor was first nominated by Schumer in late March alongside Breon Peace for U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn and Trini Ross, who Schumer recommends for U.S. Attorney in Buffalo. All three, if confirmed, will be the first Blacks to hold their titles. Williams would have to be nominated by the Biden administration first and then considered by the Senate before being confirmed for the role. 

“I am confident all three of these legal leaders will pursue the facts and justice without fear or favor and will greatly help rebuild public confidence in an unbiased and professional Department of Justice. I am particularly proud to recommend the first African American to lead what many consider the most consequential prosecutorial office in America, the Southern District,” said Schumer in a statement to the press.


The Senate also confirmed Breon S. Peace, a partner at the law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, & Hamilton, to lead the federal prosecutor’s office in Brooklyn, known as the Eastern District. The Eastern District has handled high-profile cases such as the racketeering trial of R. Kelly last month, and the trial of notorious Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo in 2019.

“Both Damian Williams and Breon Peace have dedicated their careers to equal justice under the law,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement late Tuesday. “They will bring a passion for the rule of law, civil rights and justice to their respective posts, as well as profound integrity and expertise to their offices.”


Congratulations, Damian and Breon! We know you’ll continue fighting for justice in New York!

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office

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