Kamala Harris Defends Controversial Truancy Initiative In Newly Resurfaced Video

A 2010 video of now-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) boasting about her truancy platform whereas she was the district lawyer of San Francisco has resurfaced and gone viral on Twitter.

The video, posted by journalist Walker Bragman on Monday, options Harris, on the time the state’s lawyer basic, delivering a speech on the Commonwealth Membership in San Francisco. In it she defends her resolution to take punitive measures towards the dad and mom of truant kids within the metropolis, regardless of controversy surrounding the plan.

“I consider a baby going with out an schooling is tantamount to against the law,” Harris says within the video. “So I made a decision I used to be going to start out prosecuting dad and mom for truancy.”

She describes an occasion during which she charged a homeless girl who was working two jobs to maintain her three kids.

“She simply wanted some assist,” Harris stated. So the lady was charged.

“By shining this infrared highlight of public security on the truth that her kids aren’t at school, we had been capable of determine that out, get her entry to providers that exist, and thru that course of, the attendance of her kids improved. We dismissed the costs towards her, and total we’ve improved attendance for this inhabitants in SF by 20 % over the past two years.”

Within the speech, Harris laughs about sending her workplace’s murder and gang prosecutors into San Francisco colleges to satisfy with dad and mom and directors who had been discussing truant college students.

“Once you go over there, look actually imply,” she stated she would inform them.

In Bragman’s thread, he identified that Harris’ speech was a stump speech for her 2010 re-election marketing campaign for lawyer basic. In one other video, from November 2009, she delivers the identical speech.

Harris, who introduced her 2020 presidential bid on Jan. 21, has begun to face criticism for her actions as a prosecutor, together with the truancy initiative. Its critics identified that it predominantly affected poor communities and communities of colour.

“She believed a vital strategy to preserve youngsters out of jail after they’re older is to maintain them at school after they’re younger,” a marketing campaign spokesperson instructed HuffPost on Tuesday.

Harris’ marketing campaign pointed to the social service facet of the initiative, saying that arrests and different interactions with the felony justice system had been minimal and that the initiative compelled colleges to work extra intently with dad and mom of struggling kids ― and help these dad and mom too.

(When Harris was lawyer basic, a number of dad and mom had been arrested for his or her youngsters’ persistent truancy.)

In a city corridor on CNN on Monday, she defended her felony justice background.

Requested about her “contradictory” profession as a prosecutor, she stated, “I’ve been constant my entire profession.” 

“My profession has been primarily based on an understanding that, one, as a prosecutor, my obligation was to hunt and make it possible for probably the most susceptible and unvoiced amongst us are protected. … I’ve additionally labored my entire profession to reform the felony justice system, understanding, to your level, that it’s deeply flawed.”