MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nationally renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced he will represent minority-owned businesses that claim they were affected by racial profiling from an assistant district attorney in Rutherford County.

Assistant District Attorney John Zimmerman is accused of using his power to target minority businesses and using racial slurs during speaking engagements.

The allegations come after the Free at Last Bail Bonds Company claimed the sale of their bonding company had been approved in other counties except for Rutherford due to Zimmerman attempting to withhold the transaction.

At a press conference Tuesday, Crump said the Department of Justice is in place to put an end to the type of discrimination the Free at Last Bail Bonds is facing.

“The Department of Justice exists to make sure no citizen is discriminated against even corporate citizens,” said Crump, “So, they want to make sure that their business is not infringed upon because it is a minority-owned business.” 

Attorney Cayley Turrin who is presiding over the case said the sale has been approved in Davidson and Williamson counties with no issue. However, Zimmerman is insisting on a hearing ahead of the sale requesting all circuit judges to attend.

The hearing is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. in front of Rutherford County circuit judges.

This is not the first time the Rutherford County assistant district attorney has faced a lawsuit. Three years ago Rutherford County business owners were forced to close their doors due to the sale of products containing CBD in the infamous “Operation Candy Crush” sting where officials claimed the CBD products contained illegal ingredients.

The federal appeals courts ruled Zimmerman and a Rutherford County sheriff had no probable cause to initiate “Operation Candy Crush” that ordered 23 businesses to close their doors and left 17 store owners arrested.