Missouri voters oust prosecutor in Michael Brown case

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. | Washington Post

Voters in St. Louis County, Missouri, have ousted veteran prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who was widely criticized in the aftermath of a deadly 2014 police shooting in Ferguson.

The slaying of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, became a flash point for protests about African-Americans shot and killed by police. On Tuesday, two days before the four-year anniversary of Brown’s death at the hands of a white Ferguson police officer, McCulloch lost in the St. Louis County Democratic primary to Wesley Bell, a Ferguson city council member who ran on a platform of reforming the prosecutor’s office.

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Bell, who is black, won with nearly 57 percent of the vote, a margin of more than 24,000, according to the board of elections. No Republicans were on the ballot, all but guaranteeing that Bell will be St. Louis County’s next prosecutor.

McCulloch has held the position since 1991 and ran unopposed in 2014. But Tuesday’s primary was the first time he had faced voters since the announcement that Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown during a street confrontation, would not face charges.

McCulloch’s announcement on Nov. 24, 2014 – just weeks after his reelection – set off more turbulent protests in Ferguson and fueled the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Critics accused the prosecutor of skewing the investigation in favor of Wilson and demanded the prosecutor recuse himself, as The Washington Post’s Mark Berman reported. Several of McCulloch’s family members are police officers, including his father, who was shot and killed by a black suspect when McCulloch was 12.

McCulloch defended himself before and after announcing the grand jury’s decision, repeatedly rebuffing calls to step …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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