California Prosecutor Suspended after Facebook Comments on Maxine Waters
By Ryan Velez
The Huffington Post reports that a prosecutor in San Bernardino has been suspended following a series of social media attacks directed towards Maxine Waters, Michelle Obama, and others. Michael Selyem, the lead gang prosecutor for the county district attorney’s office, is currently under investigation, according to an official statement by authorities. The posts were brought to their attention following staff complaints.
District Attorney Michael Ramos said that “the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office does not condone hate, discrimination or incitement of violence,” in a statement to reporters, “Our community and the entire criminal justice system depends on having a fair, ethical, and unbiased prosecutor.”
One of the comments about Waters read, “Being a loud-mouthed c#nt in the ghetto you would think someone would have shot this b#tch by now.” Zeke Hernandez, president of a chapter of the Santa Ana League of United Latin American Citizens, mentioned how the comments were “clearly outside the boundaries of civil service norms,” and that “law enforcement personnel and officers of the court system should not incite violence.” The investigation could result in Selyem’s termination.
The attacks leveled against Waters from many sides have left many people not only disgusted with the offenders, but also frustrated with Democratic leadership for not defending her. We covered one group of Black women who spoke out about the issue last week. “We write to share our profound indignation and deep disappointment over your recent failure to protect Congresswoman Waters from unwarranted attacks from the Trump Administration and others in the GOP,” the group of nearly 200 women wrote in a letter sent last Tuesday. “That failure was further compounded by your decision to unfairly deride her as being ‘uncivil’ and ‘un-American.’”
“In doing so, we believe this mischaracterizes her call to action for peaceful democratic assembly and the exercise of her constitutional rights to free speech in support of defenseless immigrant children and their families,” the women wrote. The group includes activists, religious leaders, academics, and local elected officials.
“Disparaging or failing to support Congresswoman Waters is an affront to her and Black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford: that it does not respect Black women’s leadership and political power and discounts the impact of Black women and millennial voters,” the women concluded.