On November 24, 2014, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced that there would be no criminal charges brought against Darren Wilson, the White former police officer who shot and killed unarmed Black 18-year-old Michael Brown. Yesterday (August 7), the good people of St. Louis County voted the prosecutor out of the office he was first elected to in 1991.

Progressive Ferguson City Council member Wesley Bell won 56.6 percent of the votes. He is the first person to run against McCulloch since the verdict, and as he does not face a challenger in the general election, he will be the new prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County. He ran on a platform that vowed to end mass incarceration, reform the cash bail system, reserve resources for serious crime, engage the community, end the death penalty and “resist the Trump administration.”

“People say, ‘Well you shocked the world.’ No. We shocked the world,” Bell told supporters last night, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I don’t believe in campaign promises. I believe in promises. So when we say we are going to expand diversionary programs, it’s going to happen. When we say we are going to reform the cash bail program, it’s going to happen.”

A 2015 study detailed the overwhelming Whiteness of the nation’s elected prosecutors pool—and why it’s important for people of color to hold those positions. As Colorlines previously reported:

Of the 2,437 elected prosecutors serving in jurisdictions around the country last summer when the survey was conducted, just 4 percent are men of color, only 1 percent are women of color, and White men account for fully 79 percent (while only accounting for 31 percent of the total population). And 60 percent of states have zero Black elected prosecutors. The only state where White men make up less than half of the prosecutors is New Mexico. 

Whether they are called district attorneys or states attorneys general, elected prosecutors are the ones who decide when to pursue criminal charges, which charges to file, and if they will carry prison time.

Residents, organizers, activists and journalists alike rejoiced online following Bell’s win. Here’s why they are shouting #ByeBob: