Jun 9, 2019

Harris pushes back on criticisms of her record as a prosecutor

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) addressed in South Carolina Saturday criticisms she's faced since entering the 2020 race about her record as a district attorney and state attorney general who was tough on crime, AP reports.

Details: Harris told the NAACP state conference her prosecutorial background makes her uniquely qualified to hold President Trump accountable, per AP. She also outlined her vision for a criminal justice system in which "safety is a civil right," according to the Los Angeles Times, which noted she said it's a "myth that black people don’t want public safety."

Why it matters: Harris was criticized by some previously for stances including defending the death penalty despite being personally against it, opposing a bill that would've required her office to investigate police shootings and for remaining silent on several criminal justice reforms championed by progressives.

The big picture: In her speech, Harris sought to justify previous policy decisions, rather than apologize for them, according to Politico. And she spoke of her experience as a biracial woman involved in making decisions on how criminal cases were prosecuted, per the LA Times: "We always have to be in those rooms, especially and even when there aren’t many like us there," she said.

"In this election, regarding my background as a prosecutor, there have been those who have questioned my motivations, my beliefs and what I’ve done. But my mother used to say you don’t let people tell you who you are. You tell them who you are. Let me be clear — self-appointed political commentators do not get to define who we are and what we believe. I take my mother’s advice."
— Harris statement, according to campaign team

Go deeper: Kamala Harris on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,803,416 — Total deaths: 359,791 — Total recoveries — 2,413,576Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,720,613 — Total deaths: 101,573 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. 2020: The RNC has issued their proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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