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ST. LOUIS — The new St. Louis County, Missouri, prosecuting attorney is shaking up his staff and instituting new policies just two days into the job. 

Former Ferguson Councilman Wesley Bell defeated 28-year incumbent Bob McCulloch in the August 2018 Democratic primary and ran unopposed in November. He was sworn in Jan. 1, 2019, becoming the first-ever African-American to hold the office.

He wasted no time implementing some of his reformist agenda. Bell's office says it will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases, among other changes.

McCulloch had a reputation as a hardline law-and-order prosecutor. Bell wants to change the cash bail system, opposes the death penalty and pledged to hold police officers accountable if they step out of line.


Feature Image: Portrait of Wesley Bell. August 14, 2014, Ferguson, MI. by Jamelle Bouie via Flickr. Creative Commons 2.0, image was cropped and edited.