Kamala Harris Attends Criminal Justice Forum After Announcing Boycott Due to Trump

Democratic presidential hopeful California Senator Kamala Harris listens to a question during a town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues hosted by CNN and the Human rights Campaign Foundation at The Novo in Los Angeles on October 10, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty …
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) attended a criminal justice forum at Benedict College after pledging to boycott the event the day before due to President Trump’s keynote address at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, where he was awarded the Bipartisan Justice Award.

Harris announced on Friday that she would skip the event and hold her own criminal justice roundtable due to the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center’s recognition of Trump.

In a statement, Harris expressed her disgust with Trump’s recognition, citing his purported “decades of celebrating mass incarceration, pushing the death penalty for innocent Black Americans, rolling back police accountability measures, and racist behavior that puts people’s lives at risk.”

However, her national spokesman Ian Sams confirmed on Saturday that the presidential hopeful would participate in the forum after Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin (D) released a statement, assuring candidates that the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center had nothing to do with the event.

“I am excited to welcome presidential candidates to a criminal justice forum dialogue which will allow Benedict College students and the wider community to have full participation,” Benjamin said.

“I want to be clear that the Candidate Forums are hosted by myself and Benedict College. This portion of the weekend is not a 20/20 Presidential Justice Center event,” he added.

“Because of Kamala’s protest, the sponsor that awarded Trump has been completely removed from this event and it’s been opened up to HBCU student participation,” Sams announced.

“She led, and she got results. She will now participate in Mayor Benjamin’s forum at Benedict today,” he added:

However, as the Washington Post noted, “it wasn’t clear in what ways the sponsor was no longer affiliated with the event because the group maintained a presence there throughout the day.”

In fact, the organization tweeted a picture of Harris speaking at the event:

“The only external evidence of sponsorship was a typed note on one of the doors advising attendees that entering the area meant they could be photographed or filmed for ‘2020 Bipartisan Justice Center marketing material,'” the Washington Post reported.


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