Sen. Kamala Harris: ‘No Young Man Should Fear’ for His Safety ‘Because of the Color of His Skin’

By Melanie Arter | April 25, 2019 | 10:44 AM EDT

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) (Screenshot)

( – In a town hall event at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., on Tuesday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) called for criminal justice reform, saying that young black men should not have to fear for their safety because of the color of their skin.

“In America today, there are families and parents that have to sit down with mostly their son, sometimes their daughter, when that child turns 12 years old to have what’s called the talk, wherein those parents explain, ‘Son, you may be stopped. You may be arrested. You may be chased. You may be shot because of the color of your skin,’” she said.


“Let’s speak truth that in America today, we have a criminal justice system that is deeply flawed, that has been infected in many ways by bias and that can be reformed, and we should agree that in our America, no young man should fear for the safety of his life because of the color of his skin,” Harris added.

She touted legislation she is co-sponsoring with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would reform the cash bail system.



Harris was asked how she would work with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. She pointed to this as an example of her willingness to work on bipartisanship.

“There is bipartisan work that is happening. I am very pleased and excited to have two pieces of significant legislation that do I think some very important work. One, I am sponsoring a piece of legislation that will reform the money bail system in the United States. It is a criminal justice reform issue, and it’s also an economic justice issue,” she said.

“There are people in our country that are sitting in jail for days, weeks, months, even potentially years waiting to go to trial simply because they don’t have enough money in their back pocket to pay for bail to get out while they’re pending trial,” Harris said.

“It’s an economic justice issue, so I’ve got a bill that would basically change the whole system. And my co-sponsor – somebody I knocked on his door and said, ‘hey, want to try and work on this together even though we don’t agree on most of anything?’ – and his name is Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky,” she said.

And he’s my co-sponsor, and we’re working on it together, and I will tell you that it was great. When we rolled it out, I was like, ‘Rand, how’s it going? How are your people dealing with working with me on this?’ And he said, ‘Kamala, Appalachia loves it.’ Of course,” Harris said.

The senator said “the vast majority of us have more in common than what separates us.”


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