Last week, many were shocked to read a story about the social media habits of a San Bernadino deputy district attorney who, among other things, seemingly wished for the shooting of a sitting U.S. Congresswoman.
Michael Selyem is a 12-year veteran prosecutor in the D.A.’s office. His defenders speak of highly of him as a professional but, his critics, as well as his social media posts, indicate otherwise.
The post that captured the most attention was one reeking of misogyny and a potential call for violence against California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. On Facebook, Selyem commented:
“Being a loud-mouthed c*nt in the ghetto you would think someone would have shot this b*tch by now …”
Unfortunately, this was not all. On another occasion, Selyem posted a doctored photo of former First Lady Michelle Obama with the caption, “Trump grabbed my penis.
Other comments seem to directly call into question how he approaches his job. In an argument with another Facebook user, regarding a police shooting, Selyem wrote:
That sh*tbag got exactly what he deserved. … You reap what you sow. And by the way go f**k yourself you liberal sh*tbag.”
In a post targeting Latino immigrants, he post a picture of a man in a large sombrero, captioned “Mexican word of the day: Hide.”
Michael Selyem’s behavior was disturbing enough that it prompted someone in the D.A.’s office to file a complaint and an internal investigation was launch. Once the story was leaked to the press, a wave of bad publicity and huge public backlash ensued. The pressure became great enough that, yesterday, District Attorney Mike Ramos held a press conference to announce that Michael Selyem had been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation.
In his statement, Ramos said the following: “The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office does not condone hate, discrimination or incitement of violence. Our community and the entire criminal justice system depends on having a fair, ethical, and unbiased prosecutor. We must insist on that — an unbiased prosecutor.”
D.A. Ramos also stated that his office will explore what disciplinary actions it should undertake, up to and including termination.
In the meantime, the office will be dealing with damage control as it faces criticism from an angry public as well as any questions of bias that could arise from cases prosecuted by Selyem.