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Senate/ZUMA Press/NewscomLikely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) released a new memoir this week. In The Truths We Hold, Harris touts her record as a "progressive prosecutor," but the book glosses over numerous instances where her office defended prosecutorial misconduct.
Harris recounts her career as a line prosecutor in San Francisco, up through her tenure as California Attorney General and her election to the U.S. Senate. The book is a rather clear attempt by Harris to preemptively defend her record on criminal justice, which has emerged as an important issue, especially on the left flank of the Democratic Party.
"The job of a progressive prosecutor is to look out for the overlooked, to speak up for those whose voices aren't being heard, to see and address the causes of crime, not just their consequences, and to shine a light on the inequality and unfairness that lead to injustice," Harris writes.
She also addresses police brutality. "I know how difficult and dangerous the job is, day in and day out, and I know how hard it is for the officers' families, who have to wonder if the person they love will be coming home at the end of each shift," she writes. "I also know this: It is a false choice to suggest you must either be for the police or for police accountability. I am for both. Most people I know are for both. Let's speak some truth about that, too."
Of one of her first cases as a prosecutor, Harris writes that she begged a judge to hear the case of an innocent person arrested during a drug raid, so that the woman wouldn't have to spend the weekend in jail. It was "a defining moment" in her life, she writes. "It was revelatory, a moment that proved how much it mattered to have compassionate people working as prosecutors."
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