Kamala Harris defended her record as a prosecutor on Saturday while speaking to the NAACP in South Carolina, pitching her law enforcement career as one of her greatest strengths.
The California Democrat has come under fire for her past record since jumping into the presidential race, with many questioning some of the policies she pursued while she was a district attorney in San Francisco and the Attorney General of California. For example, she has been criticized by some criminal justice advocates as being too tough on the accused.
So she told the audience in this early-voting state that she wanted to really tell them who she is.
“My mother used to say, ‘Don’t let people tell you who you are. You tell them who you are,’” she said at the South Carolina’s NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Columbia. “So that’s what I’m gonna do.”
The crux of Harris’ argument was focused on the myth that “Black people don’t want public safety,” she said.
“Everyone wants the police to respond when their home gets burglarized. Everyone wants accountability when a woman is raped, when a child is molested and when one human being kills another. We all want to be safe,” she said. “What we don’t want is excessive force, or for being black to be considered probable cause.”
“What we don’t want is any more cases like Walter Scott,” she added. “No, we don’t.”
Ultimately, Harris said that it’s her background as a prosecutor that would eventually help bring down President Donald Trump.
“We’ve got to hold this guy accountable by prosecuting the case in front of the American people against four more years of this administration,” she said. “And I’ve prosecuted a lot of cases. But rarely one with this much evidence.”
Watch the full speech below