A campaign ad recently put out by a candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general features video of African-American victims––all of whom’s cases received national attention.
The voiceover in Democrat Steve Zappala‘s ad touts his domestic violence record as district attorney after saying, “He didn’t need a traffic stop in Texas, a shooting in South Carolina or an elevator in Atlantic City.”
That voiceover is featured over footage of Sandra Bland being pulled over in Texas, Walter Scott running from the police officer who fatally shot him in the back, and of Janay Rice lying in the elevator after her husband Ray Rice beat her.
Zappala’s fellow Democrat and campaign rival, Josh Shapiro, has been going after Zappala with an ad suggesting racial bias on his part.
The ad was uncovered by Jason Johnson at The Root, who goes to the heart of why Zappala’s ad is a problem:
On the surface, it’s a jarring ad that delivers a powerful message: essentially that Zappala was concerned about criminal justice for black people before it was trendy; that Zappala was “Black Lives Matter” before black lives mattered. The problem is that the commercial is an absolute lie. Zappala has one of the most appalling records of any district attorney in America on issues of race and justice. But he, and other politicians like him, think that flashing a few pictures of black death and suffering, along with an empathetic voice-over, is enough to fool black voters come election time.
It’s worth noting here that Zappala’s campaign dismissed criticism weeks ago about the ad after Bland’s mother asked that they take it down.
[image via screengrab]
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