Advancement Project Statement: The Ouster of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch Who Failed to Charge Officer for Murder of Mike BrownOrganizers and activists who emerged out of the Ferguson Uprising in 2014 flexed their political muscle and won this victory.
After a 27-year bout, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch – the prosecutor who failed to charge Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, Jr. four years ago this week – was defeated in the St. Louis prosecutorial election.
McCulloch has a long history of defending police violence and was responsible for the attack on front line protesters during the Ferguson Uprising following the death of 18-year-old Brown. McCulloch targeted Ferguson protestor Josh Williams, who is enduring an eight-year prison sentence, as well as Brittany Ferrel and Alexis Templeton, who suffered a year-long prosecution. On August 7, 2018, St. Louis County took a stand against an outdated, racist criminal legal system that criminalized poverty and Black residents – an effort to end McCulloch’s influence.
Organizers and activists who emerged out of the Ferguson Uprising in 2014 flexed their political muscle and won this victory. Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), Organization for Black Struggle and, particularly, Action St. Louis have developed its political influence and sphere since 2014.
Action St. Louis educated voters about the power of prosecutors and registered voters. They hosted the largest debate in the City of St. Louis on the criminalization of Black residents with ArchCity Defenders and MORE, which led to the election of St. Louis’s first Black woman as Circuit Attorney in 2016. Action St. Louis supported Tishaura Jones’ campaign for Mayor of the City of St. Louis, hosting town halls, organizing, and getting out the vote. Although Tishaura ultimately lost by 888 votes, Action St. Louis hosted #WokeVoterSTL brunches throughout the region and developed a game plan for leveraging their impact and holding politicians accountable.
In 2018, Action St. Louis launched a massive voter education effort through their #WokeVoterSTL and their #ByeBob campaigns. They joined with Color of Change PAC and Organization for Black Struggle to send out nearly 100,000 texts to voters, knocked on doors, called residents, and reached thousands of St. Louis County voters. Their efforts resulted in a dramatic increase in voter turnout for last night’s elections.
Advancement Project’s national office has been working with organizers in St. Louis since the Ferguson Uprising. We’ve partnered with ArchCity Defenders and St. Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics to stop police from teargassing protesters following the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, trained organizers to increase the capacity of their campaigns and provided political education and research support. This is a major win for St. Louis, led by Black women like Kayla Reed, Karissa Anderson, and Cassandra Gould.
Advancement Project is proud to continue working alongside Action St. Louis in its #WokeVoterSTL, #CloseTheWorkhouse and other future campaigns.