New York [USA], Nov. 6 : After several incidents of black killing by Police hit America, the African-American lawyers, racial justice groups and the liberal hedge fund billionaire George Soros are combining forces to try to elect more black prosecutors in response to what they see as an insufficient response by incumbent district attorneys to the killings.
These efforts, however, face steep demographic and institutional obstacles that have kept the offices of elected prosecutors, those deciding whether to seek criminal charges against the officers responsible, among the whitest reserves in American politics, reports the New York Times.
According to two recent studies by liberal groups, only a few dozen out of more than 2,300 elected prosecutors nationwide are African-American.
Even the National Black Prosecutors Association, which has 400 members, can point to only about a dozen who were elected to their posts.
But that number has begun to grow, with activists and lawyers recruiting black candidates while outside groups, largely financed by Soros, hire political consultants to produce slick campaign ads.
Together, the candidates and their allies are often overwhelming white candidates, some of whom have complained that they were targeted merely because of their race.
Since last year, the effort has produced two black district attorneys in rural Mississippi and one in Caddo Parish, La.
On Tuesday, four black candidates are expected to cruise to election as the top local prosecutors in Chicago; St.
Louis; Orlando, Fla.; and suburban Henry County, Ga. "In many ways, it is just as important as the governor's race or the presidential race," said Benjamin L.
Crump, a Tallahassee, Fla., lawyer involved in the push, who has represented families of the victims in some of the most highly publicized killings of African-Americans in recent years, beginning with the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in 2012.
The National Bar Association has even urged black line prosecutors to run for office; the National Black Prosecutors Association is offering to mentor candidates; and Soros, through Color of Change and his growing network of Safety and Justice PACs, has funneled nearly USD five million into the cause since last year.