Biden picks Harris. Really, Joe?!?!?!?!?!!
Updated: Aug 19, 2020
So here’s Biden’s pick for VP:
Ok, so we all know the “defund the police” and “Black Lives Matter” AND “police brutality“ movements are going full steam ahead. Joe and the dems must really be trying to throw the election lol.
Seeking to reconcile the competing demands of police and civil rights groups, Harris tried to avoid inflaming either side. That relatively safe approach has left her open to criticism that she could have done more to lead California’s efforts to limit police use of lethal force.
Harris did make tangible advances in police accountability. She focused on programs inside the attorney general’s office, drawing praise from civil rights advocates and scant resistance from law enforcement.
At the same time, Harris, the state’s first black attorney general, steered clear of the legislative brawls over bills on policing, including what became a groundbreaking law to curb racial profiling. Harris also rejected pleas by civil rights activists to investigate deadly police shootings of young black men in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
But Harris fell behind the curve over the past fifteen years, as the nation’s sense of the scope and moral urgency of needed reforms to the criminal legal system—and especially to the role of elected prosecutor—shifted dramatically. The shift revealed that Harris’s brand of “progressive prosecution” was really just “slightly less-awful prosecution”—a politics, and set of policies, that still meant being complicit in securing America’s position as the world’s leading jailer. As attorney general, she weaponized technicalities to keep wrongfully convicted people behind bars rather than allow them new trials with competent counsel and prosecutors willing to play fair. One of them, Kevin Cooper, is on death row. Another, George Gage, will die in prison without intervention from the governor. In both cases, Harris had the power to change the outcome. She could have demanded DNA testing in Cooper’s case. She refused. She could have conceded Gage’s conviction was based on the prosecutor’s decision to suppress evidence that devastated the credibility of the sole witness against him. She didn’t.
Harris also failed to hold police and prosecutors accountable for misconduct. In Orange County, where a sprawling jailhouse informant scandal has robbed countless people of their right to a fair trial, her lack of meaningful oversight has contributed to a crisis of legitimacy that continues to upend the county’s criminal justice system.
In 2015, when called upon by the Legislative Black Caucus to support bills that would have mandated that all police officers wear body worn cameras and that the Attorney General’s office investigate lethal officer-involved shootings, she declined. She championed a law that went after the parents of chronically truant children, laughed when asked if marijuana should be legal, and supported a system that locks up people who are too poor to post exorbitant money bail. These policies were part and parcel of a system of mass incarceration that has deeply harmed poor people and communities of color.
Senator Kamala Harris’ prospects of becoming Joe Biden’s running mate may be complicated by her own record as a prosecutor, despite her strong words in support of those protesting police brutality in Minnesota and elsewhere.
Some of the longstanding anger and discontent over the treatment of African-Americans by police and prosecutors has at times been directed at Harris, who was district attorney of San Francisco and later California attorney general.
“What you want in a running mate is someone who will bring assets to the ticket without a lot of liabilities,” said Garry South, a Democratic consultant in Los Angeles. “As a prosecutor having put people behind bars, she may sell well to the average white suburban voter, but in the African-American community, there are a lot of concerns about that. In this environment, does he want to choose someone with a record in law enforcement that will be pored over and viewed with a magnifying glass?”
For progressives, there are good reasons to be suspicious of the idea that former prosecutors make good politicians. The United States has thehighest incarceration rate in the world, and its criminal punishment system disproportionately punishes poor people and people of color. Prosecutors have a leading role in sustaining this injustice, in part because they tend to view prisons as solutions to social problems.