Too Black for Business: Carlos Watson Defense Team Asks Justice Department to Conduct Racial Bias Investigation of Brooklyn Prosecutors After Revelations They Charge Blacks and Other People of Color in 90 Percent of Cases

Racial Bias Exists in Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office – Watson Prosecutors are 8 Times More Likely to Target Blacks over Whites

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Carlos Watson’s defense team, led by Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. of Ronald Sullivan Law, PLLC, today requested the Justice Department undertake a review of the Eastern District of New York office after an investigation found that the white prosecutors pursuing OZY Media founder Carlos Watson charge people of color in 90 percent of their cases.

“The numbers tell a disturbing story of racial bias, with Carlos Watson the latest target,” said Sullivan in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “Carlos Watson and his company OZY Media are based in Northern California, yet these prosecutors targeted Watson while choosing to ignore the conduct of white entrepreneurs engaging in similar conduct and headquartered in New York City.”

The prosecutorial track record of the three white prosecutors  – Jon Siegel, Dylan Stern and Gillian Kassner – targeting Carlos Watson reveals an alarming racial bias. Combined, they have pursued charges against 193 defendants since 2019 – and only 6 percent are White, according to Bureau of Prisons data reviewed and verified by Quest Research and Investigations. These prosecutors are eight times more likely to target black defendants over white defendants.

Below is a breakdown of cases handled by Siegel, Stern and Kassner:

Percentage of 

Percentage of 
 Criminal Cases


35 %

6 %


27 %

51 %


19 %

25 %


14 %

13 %

“The fact that these prosecutors charge people of color in 90 percent of their cases reveals a troubling racial bias against Blacks and other minorities,” added Sullivan. “Is it so hard to find Whites who commit crimes in Brooklyn? Or are these prosecutors just not looking for them?”

Too often the conduct of black entrepreneurs is criminalized while their white counterparts who engaged in the same conduct are held harmless or lauded for their business acumen.  

A 2022 study of white-collar sentencing found “even though most white-collar crimes are committed by people who are White, people of color are incarcerated more frequently and for longer: African American adults are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated than whites.”

Prosecutors indicted Watson, who faces 37 years in prison, while giving a pass to white entrepreneurs who engaged in similar or more egregious conduct. For example, Vice’s Shane Smith and BuzzFeeds’s Jonah Peretti faced no legal scrutiny despite questionable behavior that cost shareholders billions of dollars revealed in multiple news stories (Vice goes belly up; BuzzFeed News is shutting down, as CEO cites missteps; BuzzFeed’s Epic Fail).

According to a recent survey, by a 4-1 margin Americans say that it’s more likely that a black entrepreneur will be prosecuted for the same conduct as a white entrepreneur. (Source: Survey of 1,062 Americans conducted on June 13, 2023. Margin of error is +/- 2.5 percent).

Sullivan, a Harvard Law professor, has dedicated his career to racial justice. He oversees cases as part of the Criminal Justice Institute, represented the family of Michael Brown – the unarmed teen shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri – and was dubbed the “The Man Who Dealt the Biggest Blow to Mass Incarceration,” for his efforts to win the release of more than 6,000 wrongfully incarcerated (and mostly black) persons.

“The responsible act would be for Attorney General Garland and Deputy Attorney General Monaco to review the prosecutorial track record of these prosecutors in the Brooklyn US Attorney’s office,” said Sullivan. “And once they see the obvious bias that has targeted people of color, they should dismiss the charges against Carlos Watson.”

For more information about the Carlos Watson case and the racial disparities in the prosecution and sentencing of black defendants, please go to

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SOURCE Ronald Sullivan Law, PLLC

Too Black for Business: Carlos Watson Defense Team Asks Justice Department to Conduct Racial Bias Investigation of Brooklyn Prosecutors After Revelations They Charge Blacks and Other People of Color in 90 Percent of Cases WeeklyReviewer

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