Who Is Wesley Bell? Councilman Defeats St. Louis Prosecutor Who Led Michael Brown Investigation in Democratic Primary

A councilman from Ferguson, Missouri, defeated St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who held the office for 28 years, during Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Wesley Bell, who is black, won 57 percent of the vote, ending McCulloch's seven-term career as a prosecutor, the Associated Press reported. Bell, 43, was an attorney and a former municipal judge. He was elected as a councilman for the Ferguson City Council in 2015 due to growing tensions in Ferguson after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

McCulloch, who is white, was criticized for the way he handled the investigation of Brown's death. The prosecutor decided against charging Wilson, according to the Associated Press.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch addresses the media about a previously undisclosed video of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on March 13, 2017. McCulloch lost his seven-term career as county prosecutor to councilman Wesley Bell on Tuesday. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant

Bell's win comes two days before the four-year anniversary of Brown's death on Thursday. Bell told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Brown's death and the protests that followed influenced his run for office.

"Out of tragedy, comes opportunity. I'm a product of that evolution," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Bell told The New York Times during an interview that he would have handled the Brown case much differently, saying that he would have hired a special prosecutor to investigate the teen's death and use transparency and data to keep the public informed during the investigation.

"What I'm going to do is, we're going to create a policy—which involves a special prosecutor when it comes to police shootings— and we're going to make it available to the public so they know exactly what we're going to do before it's done," Bell told The New York Times.

There are currently no Republicans on the ballot in the race for St. Louis county prosecutor. This means Bell is likely to take the county prosecutor position after the November election, according to the Associated Press.

"People say, 'Well you shocked the world.' No. We shocked the world," Bell said to his supporters on Tuesday night, according to 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."

Bell, who was serving his second term as council member, focused his campaign on reforming the county prosecutor's office, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His father, a St. Louis police officer, was killed in the line of duty during a shootout in 1964 when Bell was just 12 years old.