- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sen. Kamala D. Harris, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, says she supports independent investigations into police-involved shootings and alleged brutality — issues that have risen to prominence in recent years amid questions of racial bias among law enforcement and in the criminal justice system.

“I believe the best approach is to have independent investigations — there’s no question,” Ms. Harris said in an interview with MSNBC Monday evening. “I think we are all very clear that there’s got to be an independent investigation conducted from the first moments of the incident so that we can be certain and sure there has been a thorough investigation that is not informed by bias and so that there will be justice for all of the people concerned.”

Ms. Harris, a former California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney, had been asked about past comments where she said she didn’t think it was good policy to take discretion away from elected district attorneys.

“I don’t think it would be good public policy to take the discretion from elected district attorneys … where there are abuses, we have designed the system to address them,” Ms. Harris said in 2014, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

But she said in the new interview that police-involved shootings are a different issue, and recalled a case in California where she refused to seek the death penalty that had informed her view.

“There were people who didn’t agree with my decision and wanted to take the case from me, and so I had a very real, personal experience where I had to fight to keep my case,” Ms. Harris said.

“And my argument was I was elected to exercise my discretion and no one’s going to take my case from me,” she said. “Frankly, it was that personal experience that informed my principle, which is that these cases shouldn’t be taken from the person who was elected to exercise their discretion.”

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