Missouri prosecutor criticized for handling of Michael Brown case loses primary

Robert McCulloch.
(Image credit: Cristina Fletes-Boutte-Pool/Getty Images)

Wesley Bell, a Ferguson city council member, defeated incumbent St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

McCulloch has been prosecutor since 1991, and he's known for having close ties to local police departments. After the August 2014 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson, McCulloch's office declined to press charges, a move criticized by many, and a grand jury later chose not to indict Wilson on murder or manslaughter charges.

Bell, who is black, ran as a reformer, and during the campaign he said he would not seek the death penalty, opposed new legislation creating mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes, and would get rid of cash bail for nonviolent offenses, HuffPost reports. Because no one ran on the Republican side, Bell, 43, does not have a challenger in November's general election.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.