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Can electing Black district attorneys stop police murder and terror? That’s what the system’s media is telling us.

On Tuesday, August 7, Wesley Bell, a young Black city councilman, defeated longtime St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch in the Democratic Party primary. Bell will now run, unopposed, for district attorney in the general election. McCulloch is white and had refused to indict Darren Wilson, the pig who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson. Bell had taken part in protests against Brown’s murder.

Now, on this fourth anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder, the media is making a big deal out of Bell’s victory. Their message: Mass protests may be important symbolically or to “let off steam”—but it’s electoral changes like this that really count, that can really make a difference in terms of stopping police murder and terror. Some headlines are calling Bell’s election a victory for the Black Lives Matter movement.

But what is the reality? What role have district attorneys and America’s “justice system” actually played?

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old Black man, was shot down, hit with six police bullets—while he was unarmed and had his hands in the air! Then his body was left in the street for hours, as if this precious young man with his future ahead of him was so much human garbage.

The police and prosecutors immediately tried to justify Michael’s murder, while also cynically holding out the bogus hope of charges against the killer cop. But the people weren’t having it! They rose up for 10 straight days—defying curfews, tear gas, and massive militarized police forces. Then, in November, when the state prosecutor refused to indict Michael’s murderer, it sparked more rebellion in Ferguson and a determined nationwide outpouring against police murder and terror.

During this entire time, politicians from President Barack Obama on down, tried to steer people back into the system’s channels—including elections—with phony expressions of concern, investigations, and promises of change—while protecting the pigs and justifying their murders!

Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder promised a thorough Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of Michael Brown’s murder. Then they dragged things out, systematically working through statements and reports to reverse the verdict of the righteous rebellion that Michael Brown had been unjustly murdered. They dismissed eyewitness accounts that Brown had his hands up, and ended up refusing to indict murdering pig Darren Wilson.

What about the role of DAs—not just in Ferguson but elsewhere? After Freddie Gray was cruelly murdered in Baltimore, the DA, Marilyn Mosby, brought charges, but during the trial forgot how to prosecute and ALL the cops involved in Freddie Gray’s murder walked free.

In Cleveland, after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered, the prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, ordered “expert” reports which were widely ballyhooed by the political establishment and media and were even demanded by some sections of the protest movement. What happened? Again, after dragging things out until outrage subsided, they refused to indict Tamir’s killer.

Why does this happen time and time again? Because these DAs and other law enforcement officials—from the federal government on down—are part of the state, and their role is to enforce this system’s oppressive economic and social relations. These are the same people who in recent decades have been on the front lines of funneling Black and Latino youth into the maw of mass incarceration. These are the people who have time and again justified police murder and terror—even when it’s caught on videotape!

To argue that electing someone new, putting a different face on this same setup, is a big victory for the people is just letting the system talk through your mouth, misleading people and setting them up for betrayal, when this entire system needs to be swept away through revolution.

To those who think electing a Black DA or other officials is some kind of victory or path forward, we offer the following:

Revolution newspaper/revcom.us, the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, provides the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for the whole process of carrying out our strategy for revolution. Through publishing works of Bob Avakian, and through many different articles, interviews, letters, graphics, and other features, Revolution enables people to really understand, and act to radically change, the world.

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    By appointing blacks or depressed people to prominent posts will not reduce police brutalities, attacks on blacks or atrocities on depressed people. Problem lies with the system which has to be followed by anyone assuming prominent post – whether black or white person. As long as capitalism system thrives in US, the policing would continue: blacks would be at the receiving end. Murders and oppression of blacks will continue despite some of them being elevated to top posts. For instance, though Obama ruled as president, attacks on africans and blacks did not stop.