Angela Corey, the notorious prosecutor who oversaw the failed prosecution of George Zimmerman, lost her re-election bid for Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit States’ Attorney seat in a blowout.
Melissa Nelson defeated the incumbent in the Republican primary by 38 percentage points.
Some are pegging Corey’s ousting as yet another victory for civil rights groups such as the Dream Defenders and Black Lives Matter, which have protested feverishly to get her and others with similar records out of office.
Last year at the beginning of her campaign protesters in Jacksonville began their anti-Corey movement, citing her overzealous record of prosecuting Black teenagers.
“Our children are being tried as adults,” Wells Todd, a protester in front of a Duval county juvenile detention center, said at the time. “They are receiving felony charges which will stay with them for the rest of their life.”
Todd and his affiliates claimed that between 2006 and 2011, Corey charged 70 percent of black males as adults compared to a 52 percent rate in the state.
“It’s time to take a stance,” Todd said. “It is time to address inequities in the criminal justice system. We will keep on rallying and protesting until she is gone.”
A year later, those protesters’ efforts paid off. Corey is the latest high-profile prosecutor to fall after what many deem the botched handling of cases where unarmed black men and boys were killed.
In March, Anita Alvarez, the state’s attorney for Chicago, lost her bid for a third term in light of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times in 13 seconds by Officer Jason Van Dyke.
Alvarez had been accused of helping cover up up the case before damning footage of the incident was released to the public a year later. On that same day, Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder.
During her campaign in February, she said, “I don’t believe any mistakes were made.”
Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty, who recommended to not indict officers in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, lost his bid for re-election, which experts attributed to his losing the African-American vote.
The protesters’ efforts were not lost observers amid the numerous ousters.
“Tim McGinty, prosecutor in Tamir Rice case and Anita Alvarez have both conceded primary races. This is important,” tweeted Vann Newkirk, reporter for The Atlantic. “The wheels of democracy turn. No guarantee either would have kept their job without protests. But it is undeniable that protests mattered.”
“Local elections matter, and everyone decrying hashtag activists could stand to learn something from this,” Newkirk said.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, award-winning author, tweeted:
“Really, really hard to assert that nothing tangible has come out of Black Lives Matter protests.”