Politics

California Prosecutor Suggested Someone Might Shoot Waters

Deputy DA on leave after allegedly calling Waters the c-word, among other things

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was the target of social media posts by a federal prosecutor in Southern California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal prosecutor in Southern California was placed on administrative leave for social media posts in which he slurred Rep. Maxine Waters and suggested someone might shoot her.

San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem also insinuated former first lady Michelle Obama had male genitals and said a man shot and killed by police “got exactly what he deserved.”

The offensive posts were first reported by the San Bernardino Sun.

In one post, Selyem, the lead hard-core gangs prosecutor in his district, referred to Waters, a Democrat representing large swaths of South Central Los Angeles for decades, as a “loud-mouthed c--t in the ghetto.”

“You would think someone would have shot this bitch by now,” Selyem added.

In another post, Selyem shared a photoshopped image of Michelle Obama holding a sign that reads, “Trump grabbed my penis.”

And during an online feud with another social media user over the police shooting of a civilian, Selyem wrote, “That s--tbag got exactly what he deserved. … You reap what you sow. And by the way go f--k yourself you liberal s--tbag.”

Selyem has been put on leave as District Attorney Mike Ramos’ office conducts an internal investigation into Selyem’s social media use and decides on whether or how to discipline him, the office told multiple media outlets via a press release.

“The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office does not condone hate, discrimination or incitement of violence,” Ramos said in a statement. “Our community and the entire criminal justice system depends on having fair, ethical, and unbiased prosecutors.”

At a news conference Monday, Ramos indicated he was particularly bothered by “comments regarding officer-involved shootings, because we handle those cases, as you know, on a daily basis,” he said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “To make any comments … impacts the ability for us to ensure the integrity of this office.”

Ramos has assigned an assistant to review the cases Selyem has prosecuted to determine whether they were affected by racial and other types of bias.

Before receiving multiple complaints about Selyem’s behavior on social media, his office had no reason to believe Selyem’s integrity involving his cases might be compromised, Ramos said.

“We have had no prior indication Mr. Selyem had any type of bias regarding his cases,” he said.

Correction 11:40 a.m. | An earlier version of this story misidentified the office that Michael Selyem worked for.

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