Trump's racist rhetoric causes backlash for Black prosecutors: Expert

Crystal Cranmore Image
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Could Trump's rhetoric spark backlash for Black prosecutors?
Expert says Trump is explicitly targeting Black Americans just doing their jobs in an industry where 5% of elected prosecutors nationwide are Black.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Experts say Former President Donald Trump's racially fueled criticism of the three Black prosecutors leading investigations against him could lead to a heightened sense of fear among BIPOC prosecutors.

Former President Donald Trump continues to criticize Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after pleading not guilty to 34 felony counts last Tuesday.

Trump's attacks don't stop there, from social media posts threatening death and destruction to his rallies.

He's taken shots at a Georgia prosecutor investigating possible criminal behavior by Trump in the 2020 presidential election surrounding his efforts to overturn the results.

The former president has also condemned New York Attorney General Letitia James for looking into his business dealings, calling each of these three Black prosecutors racist.

"The danger of this rhetoric is that it encourages bad actors to do certain things," said Melba Pearson, a former prosecutor. "These are lives that are at stake."

Pearson says Trump is explicitly targeting Black Americans who are just doing their jobs in an industry where just 5% of elected prosecutors nationwide are Black.

According to the Reflective Democracy Campaign, in New York, there are only three.

Pearson says Trump's comments have created a heightened sense of fear.

"I've seen it amongst those considering running for office because it's not just the calculus of is this something I want to do," Pearson said. "The next level is, what about security?"

Lately, Trump has targeted the Hispanic American judge presiding over his criminal case.

"A judge or prosecutor shouldn't believe they are immune from criticism or challenges in terms of the nature of the decisions they make, but it's very different from presuming they open themselves up to personal attacks," Pearson said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Trump organization for comment and has not yet heard back.


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