In 2015, Stephanie Morales was elected Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney in a special election. She campaigned on a justice platform of restoring rights to felons through the courts, focusing resources on violent repeat offenders, and diversifying the attorney’s office to make it more representative of the majority Black community it serves.
In 2016, Morales successfully prosecuted a Portsmouth police officer’s killing of an unarmed 18-year-old black man, William Chapman II, in a Walmart parking lot. To contextualize the extraordinary nature of this conviction, consider that since 2007 there have been over 10,000 police shootings, but only five white officers have served jail time for killing a black person.
Morales has fulfilled 2015 campaign promises by building a department of attorneys which better reflects the racial richness of Portsmouth, establishing programs to reduce recidivism, and engaging young people in the operations of the commonwealth attorney’s office. She has also substantially increased convictions of homicides and focused her office’s resources on improving public safety by reducing violent crime.
“Stephanie Morales represents a new wave of criminal justice reformers who can transform attorney’s offices into institutions that reflect and serve their communities, while acting as a powerful check on abuses by law enforcement,” explained Becky Bond, founder of Real Justice PAC. “That’s why we’re proud to endorse Stephanie Morales for reelection.”