Robert McCulloch, the lead prosecutor of St. Louis County for nearly three decades and the man many blame for failing to get justice after an unarmed black teenager was shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, was unseated Tuesday night by reformist challenger Wesley Bell in the county’s prosecuting attorney race. With 89 percent of votes counted, Bell had 55 percent of the vote to McCulloch’s 45, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With no other candidates from any other political party running, Bell’s win in the Democratic primary on Tuesday means he will run unopposed for the seat in November. Having held office since 1991, McCulloch was facing a challenger for the first time since 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer, which sparked weeks of protests and outrage in the city. McCulloch’s handling of that case, particularly his failure to get an indictment against police officer Darren Wilson, triggered a major backlash from activists fed up with the city’s handling of police shootings. Bell, a Ferguson City Council member, has vowed to reform the county’s criminal-justice system and overhaul its handling of police shooting cases.
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