Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. speaks during a press conference at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Jackson, and other civil rights leaders are calling for the disbarment of San Bernardino County prosecutor Michael Selyem after his social media rants has put him in the spotlight. (Photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Beau Yarbrough | byarbrough@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Published: July 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Updated: July 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Thursday for the disbarment of San Bernardino County’s top gang prosecutor over vulgar, racist and sexist comments on social media that targeted, among others, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, former first lady Michelle Obama and someone shot by police.

Joining the chorus of civil rights activists condemning Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem, Jackson said: “He has tainted every investigation he’s ever touched, and that’s why he should never practice law again.

“We will not stop until he’s disbarred,” Jackson, a two-time Democratic presidential candidate, vowed during a news conference at San Bernardino’s New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. A day earlier, civil rights activists and church leaders rallied outside the San Bernardino County Government Center demanding that all of Selyem’s past cases be reviewed for potential bias or misconduct.

A spokesman for the State Bar of California said the agency cannot comment on investigations or even confirm whether a complaint has been filed against an attorney. Lawyers who are disbarred cannot practice law for five years, after which there is a one-time chance to petition for reinstatement, said spokesman Jonah Lamb.

Since the Southern California News Group first reported Friday about Selyem’s offensive social media rants, the national media has followed the story about the 12-year veteran of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, catching Jackson’s attention.

The longtime civil rights activist and a group of ministers gathered Thursday to demand harsh punishment for Selyem, who is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation by the District Attorney’s Office.

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