Congresswoman Frederica Wilson sends letter to Missouri Governor urging removal of prosecutor in Michael Brown case
Washington, DC — Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) sent a letter to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon requesting the immediate removal of St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the Michael Brown case. Many residents and local leaders question whether McCulloch can be fair and impartial because of his close ties with the police department. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot on Saturday, August 9, 2014 by Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson.
See the full text of the letter below:
October 10, 2014
The Honorable Jeremiah W. “Jay” Nixon
Governor of Missouri
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Dear Governor Nixon:
It is within your power to make a decision that will bring peace to your state and to this nation. Your refusal to remove St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch from the Michael Brown case and appoint a special prosecutor is unwise and will lead to increased violence. It is your duty to use all available tools and resources to quell these protests before they reach a boiling point and more lives are lost.
I am writing to you as a concerned elected Democrat of Florida who has lived through race riots and community disturbances surrounding police shootings of Black males. It is probably very difficult for you to understand the innermost feelings of the Black residents of Ferguson because what they are now experiencing has never been a life experience for you—but it has for me.
When Martin Lee Anderson, a Black boy in Florida was beaten to death at the Bay County Boot Camp by correctional officers, Republican Governor Jeb Bush immediately stepped in and appointed a special prosecutor because of the volatile nature of the case. When Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, Republican Governor Rick Scott quickly appointed a special prosecutor because of the outcry and demands from the African American community. These were both Republican governors.
As a Democrat, I feel marginalized. Over seventy percent of African Americans in the United States vote for Democrats. Over seventy percent of the African American Democrats in Missouri probably voted for you. It is time for you to step up and lead. It is time for you to appoint a special prosecutor outside of Ferguson, Missouri to prosecute the Michael Brown case. I am certain that the State of Missouri has many fair and competent district attorneys and you can make this substitution quickly.
Even though Mr. McCulloch is a Democrat, for the dignity of the people in Missouri and the dignity of your office, it is morally imperative that you listen to the demands of your constituents of Ferguson.
I ask you to follow the lead of Governors in the State of Florida who have preceded you in making decisions that are not always easy, but in the best interest of the people and this country.
Frederica S. Wilson
Member of Congress
cc: President Barack Obama, President of the United States
Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Department of Justice
Governor Peter Shumlin (D-VT), Chairman, National Democratic Governors Association
U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Majority Leader
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic Leader
U.S. Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip
U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader
U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Chair, Congressional Black Caucus
U.S. Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)
U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Chair, Democratic National Committee
U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY), Chair, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
State Representative Tommie Pierson (D-MO), Chair, Missouri Legislative Black Caucus
Reverend Al Sharpton, Founder and President, National Action Network
Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Marc H. Morial, CEO, National Urban League
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Founder and President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition