Michael Brown Shooting

Prosecutor in Charge of Michael Brown Investigation Running for Re-Election Unopposed, Has History of Controversy Since Taking Office in 1991


Bob McCulloch
via KSDK

Robert McCulloch, the prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, who lambasted Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) for relieving the Ferguson Police Department of duty during ongoing protests after a violent night last Wednesday, has been in office since 1991 and has "faced controversy for decades," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted in an article reviewing his career. Early on he faced the responsibility of deciding whether to prosecute two undercover cops who shot and killed two men during an investigation. The Post-Dispatch reports:

The officers said the suspects, who had prior felony convictions for drug and assault offenses, tried to escape arrest and then drove toward the officers.

A subsequent federal investigation showed that the men were unarmed and that their car had not moved forward when the officers fired 21 shots and killed the suspects, Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley. The probe, however, also concluded that because the officers feared for their safety, the shootings were justified.

McCulloch didn't prosecute the officers. He specifically drew the ire of defense lawyers and protesters, who had been holding demonstrations and threatened to block Highway 40, when he said of Murray and Beasley, "These guys were bums."

McCulloch defended his comments, complaining the public and media were trying to "vilify" the cops, who shot and killed two alleged drug dealers and appeared to lie about the circumstances. Because they were drug dealers, McCulloch insinuated, they deserved to die.

That shooting happened in 1991 in St. Louis but it's a familiar pattern for some of the shootings authorities rule justified around the country to this day. As forensics and video technology improve, it becomes harder for fabricated stories to hold up to muster. Nevertheless, cops continue to be almost universally cleared of wrong-doing in fatal shootings.

Most infamously McCulloch wanted to prosecute Axl Rose for a riot at a Guns'n'Roses show in Riverport. The Post-Dispatch's whole article is worth a read here. McCulloch, a Democrat, is running unopposed in November. The county executive and other county officers are also up for re-election in November; it'll be interesting to see how many of them are re-elected, and how many else might be running unopposed in the heavily Democrat St. Louis County.

NEXT: Adam Carolla Settles with the Patent Trolls

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  1. Law enforcement should not be elected, for the same reasons the judiciary should not be elected.

    1. …”for the same reasons the judiciary should not be elected.”

      Well, the alternative is appointment by elected politicos, and I’m not convinced that’s better.

      1. It is. There must be degrees of separation to tone the politicization. This will favor expertise more and politicians less.

        1. Cytotoxic|8.19.14 @ 12:57AM|#
          “It is.”

          You’re convinced. I’m not at all.

          1. Imagine if the SCOTUS were elected. It would be awful. Imperfect as it is, it is not nearly that bad because it is distant and sheltered from the peons.

            1. “Vote for me and I will end abortion!”

              “Vote for me and I will end the New Deal!”

              “Vote for me and I will end the ADA!”

              “Vote for me and I will force reparations!”

              “Vote for me and I will end the ability of the wealthy and corporations to influence elections!”

              Yeah, that would pretty much end any pretense of a constitutional republic. Not that we are doing very well at keeping it anyway….

      2. Random selection from among those licensed to practice law. A condition of accepting the license is the possibility of having to stop private practice for a time to be a judge.

        If nonsense restrictions are good enough for doctors, we ought to put them on lawyers too.

  2. I’m fairly certain that the great state of Misery is gonna need a federal bailout after all this poe-lease overtime they’ll be paying.

  3. “McCulloch defended his comments, complaining the public and media were trying to “vilify” the cops, who shot and killed two alleged drug dealers”

    Perhaps they should be vilified.

    1. If you actually read the article, the two were in a car heading toward the police officers.

      What were they supposed to do, let those two run them over?

      How about focusing on cases of over policing on people who aren’t actually criminals trying to injure police?

      1. If you actually read the article, you’d see that the federal investigation concluded that the car was not moving when they were killed. But it was okay, because the officers feared for their safety.

        I know nothing terrifies me more than seeing a car that isn’t moving.

  4. It seems very strange that this town and county are run by democrats.I’ve always heard that they are the ‘party of civil rights’ for minorities.s

    1. St. Louis County used to largely be run by Republicans, until blacks moved into North County (where Ferguson) in large numbers the last 20 years or so.

      And it’s been Democratic since, and it’s gone downhill

  5. And meanwhile, in Turkey, police kill a Kurdish protestor


    How is it that Turkey somehow gets a free pass? They do all sorts of shady stuff, including basically a guerrilla war against the Kurds, but you never really see it mentioned much.

    Meanwhile, in the US, tear gas gets used a few times on protestors (and I should note, after protestors start shooting each other) and it’s the world news, with Tibetan monks and Amnesty International and blah blah blah

    Turkey actually kills a protestor, and no one cares.

    1. The Turks have tried to deny their bloody history with the Armenians also.

  6. “These guys were bums.”

    “I looked deep into his soul. He needed killing.”

  7. McCulloch wields a ton of political capital and is very, very, pro-police. The electorate in these parts love them some McCulloch and the events going on in Ferguson won’t leave a mark on him. He’s held the job for 20+ years and wins in a landslide every time he’s opposed. He’s a sanctimonious dickbag who has demonstrated time and time again that he will always have law enforcements back.

  8. *He’s a sanctimonious dickbag who has demonstrated time and time again that he will always have law enforcements back.*

    Whose back should he have, the wretched hive of scum and villainy that very obviously dominates his home turf?

    1. Lady Justice’s, perhaps?

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