USA Today: Ferguson’s action at the ballot box sends message to prosecutors, “Voters want police held accountable”

Op-ed by Rashad Robinson,  Aug. 16, 2018 | 

Black organizers, movement key to pushing out attorney who failed to seek justice for Michael Brown

Last week, the voters of St. Louis County, Missouri, delivered a measure of justice for Ferguson almost four years to the day after Michael Brown’s death — and in doing so they sent a message to every politician in the country about the politics of criminal justice reform and the power of black political organizing.

Robert McCulloch, the 27-year-incumbent prosecuting attorney of St. Louis County, the man who whitewashed the investigation into Brown’s killing at the hands of police, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Wesley Bell, a black Ferguson City Council member who promised reform. Bell has no Republican challenger, making him the presumptive winner.

This win should shift the ground under the feet of every prosecuting attorney in America. Ferguson has been one of the biggest flash points of the modern civil rights movement. And the movement just delivered a coordinated, effective political response in that St. Louis suburb, showing prosecutors around the country that it’s no longer safe to assume they can protect police without answering for it at the ballot box later.

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