New St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell fired former assistant prosecutor Kathi Alizadeh, who presented evidence to the grand jury in the fatal police-involved shooting case of teen Michael Brown.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, Bell, a former Ferguson councilman, vowed to make major changes once taking office. In an August election, Bell defeated 28-year Democratic incumbent Robert McCulloch, who oversaw Brown's case. 

Alizadeh worked closely with McCulloch and has held her position since 1988. She told the news outlet Bell handed her a two-page letter detailing the reasoning behind her termination.  

“Despite Mr. Bell’s rhetoric about building bridges with career prosecutors, he has apparently decided to suddenly discharge three dedicated public servants in his first hours in office,” union president Ed Clark said in a news release to the Dispatch.

Bell made history by becoming the first Black person to hold the office in the county.

In 2014, former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed the 18-year-old, drawing further attention to the issue police brutality against Black Americans. The fatal shooting galvanized a wave of politicians and activists demanding change. A grand jury later determined Wilson was not guilty of wrongdoing. 

The people saw Bell's election as sending a message to McCulloch, who helped Wilson walk free.

Local news outlet KMOV 4 reports Alizadeh is taking legal action against the office. She is one of three people terminated since the start of the new year. Bell was sworn in Tuesday and has already started making new policy changes that will better help his community. 

The office will not prosecute those who fail to pay child support, have been found in possession of fewer than 100 grams of marijuana. Bell's office also plans to end the cash bail system.  

“It appears to us the old regime kind of thrived on some intimidation, some schoolyard activities, bullying, whatever you want to call it,” Former St. Louis city prosecutor Sam Alton and Bell's current chief of staff told the Dispatch.

The Associated Press reports the St. Louis Police Officers Association, a group representing prosecutors, has voiced concern after the slew of firings.

“We see things real differently,” Alton said. “We’re all on the same team. … You’re here for the county. We’re really all here for the county. We’re all here to succeed.”

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