Black city councilman unseats white incumbent prosecutor who refused to indict cop in Michael Brown death in Ferguson
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 8/8/2018, 9:51 a.m.
This year’s elections are shaping up to become significant across the country, as women and minorities are making headway in primary races across the board, from Congressional seats down to local offices. (Former Michigan state lawmaker Rashida Tlaib won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed for a House seat, setting her up to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.) In Ferguson, Missouri, the scene of protests and police violence in recent years, the city prosecutor – a white man – was beaten in the Democratic primary by a Black councilman. According to the Griot and other news sources, Wesley Bell, 43, received more than half of the vote in the Democratic primary in an upset win that unseated incumbent city prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who had been in the position for 28 years. McCulloch refused to indict police Darren Wilson in 2014 over the death of Black youth Michael Brown. Bell was serving his second term as a Ferguson City Council member. While some argued that he was cozying up too much to police, because of his family’s background in law enforcement, he showed strength in numbers in the polls. “People say, ‘well you shocked the world.’ No. We shocked the world,” Bell said to a crowd of supporters Tuesday night. “I’m in total disbelief,” St. Louis University political science professor Ken Warren told the St. Louis Dispatch late Tuesday. Warren believed McCulloch would secure his eighth straight term. “Obviously Ferguson defined this election,” Warren said. “Bell made his name through Ferguson, and (McCulloch) tarnished his name through his handling of Ferguson.”