Believe it or not, there was a time when California Sen. Kamala Harris (D) was very tough on crime — but as the Democratic Party’s official vice presidential nominee, Harris seems to have flipped the script from her days as a prosecutor.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Harris wouldn’t say during an interview with CNN on Sunday whether she believes, as she once did, that a stronger police presence leads to a decrease in crime.
“I am very clear that we have got to, in America, reimagine how we are accomplishing public safety,” Harris told CNN host Dana Bash, according to the Free Beacon.
She went on: “If you go into any upper-class suburb in America, you will not see police presence, but what you will see are well-funded public schools, high rates of homeownership, [and] small businesses that have access to capital.”
“Citizens feel safer”
When Harris was coming up through the ranks in California, she was billed as a no-nonsense prosecutor who supported local police.
“[I]f we take a show of hands of those who would like to see more police officers on the street, mine would shoot up,” Harris wrote in a 2009 book, according to The New York Times. She was elected to serve as California’s attorney general the next year.
Back then, Harris believed that a larger police presence deterred crime and made a community more safe, not less. “[V]irtually all law-abiding citizens feel safer when they see officers walking a beat,” she wrote.
But no longer.
“Bring these people to justice”
Of course, policing is far from the first issue that Harris has flip-flopped on. A report from Fox News said she’s changed her mind on everything from “whether the government should abolish private health insurance” to “whether recreational marijuana should be legalized.”
Her reversals have allowed Republicans to label “her as radical,” Fox reports, while “members of the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party accus[e] her of not being liberal enough.”
Harris’ latest stance is certainly a change from the approach taken by the current administration. Headed by Attorney General Bill Barr, the Trump Justice Department has made clear that “law and order” is its priority — and amid nationwide unrest, Barr has shown no signs of backing down.
“The federal government is willing to use all our tools, all our laws to bring these people to justice,” Barr said over the weekend, according to VOA News.