In an interview aired Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris suggested that she regrets supporting the “war on truancy” that led to parents being prosecuted and jailed, HuffPost reports.
“I regret that that has happened and the thought that anything I did could have led to that,” Harris said.
However, even though the California Democrat now claims to have never thought that her championing such laws could lead to parents being prosecuted, video footage of her laughing while explaining her decision to get tough on truancy went viral the moment she announced her candidacy, according to The Guardian.
The publication described the videos as “disturbing,” writing the following.
“What’s striking about Harris’s talk is that she doesn’t seem at all aware of the socioeconomic implications of her policy. She admits that when she proposed jailing parents, members of her staff thought it was a terrible idea. But she laughs about it.”
“The policy that Harris championed can literally kill mothers,” the Guardian added, writing that Harris has largely opposed criminal justice reforms throughout her career, remaining faithful to her law and order background.
According to HuffPost, Kamala Harris not only embraced the controversial policy but helped get the law passed back in 2011. An Orange County mother, for instance, was vigorously prosecuted under Harris’ law, even though her child was missing school because of a difficult illness.
Kamala Harris’ prosecutor background has come under intense scrutiny. As soon as the former California Attorney General entered the presidential race, editorials pointing out the discrepancies between her new, progressive image, and tough on crime background argued that Harris is anything but a “progressive prosecutor,” as she has frequently described herself.
The New York Times slammed Harris’ refusal to embrace criminal justice reform and the fact that she had “fought tooth and nail” to uphold numerous wrongful conventions. Harris has also been accused of withholding information about a police laboratory technician accused of stealing drugs and criticized for advocating for the death penalty.
Sen. Kamala Harris said the punitive impact of her war on truancy as San Francisco DA was an "unintended consequence." https://t.co/t3owM56jts— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) April 17, 2019
Similarly, in a January op-ed, The Intercept referenced a number of controversial decisions Kamala Harris had made as a prosecutor, arguing that the Democratic presidential candidate is guaranteed to have a tough time coming across as a progressive and securing the nomination in the age of movements such as Black Lives Matter.
Kamala Harris appears to have changed her mind about the legalization of marijuana as well. According to Reason, throughout her career, Kamala was opposed to legalizing cannabis but now claims to support the initiative. The presidential candidate even said during a radio interview to have smoked marijuana in the past.