SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sen. Kamala Harris hosted a town hall in Sacramento Thursday speaking on a wide range of issues.
Talking specifically about the shooting death of Stephon Clark by Sacramento Police, Harris said Clark didn’t have to die.
“There is no question that that was a life that should not have been lost. That is a life that should not have been ended,” Harris said before a crowd of around 300 people at Unity of Sacramento Church.
Harris says she’s been in touch with Clark’s family, speaking directly with his grandmother, who received a standing ovation from the audience when she made an appearance during the middle of the town hall.
Harris says her experience as a prosecutor and California’s Attorney General gave her a clear perspective on what she says is a need for reform to the criminal justice system. Especially she says when it comes to the treatment of African-Americans and training for law enforcement.
“We all carry bias,” she said. “We all do. But when your bias is coupled with the fact that you carry a gun, it’s something that has to be a priority for us.”
As Harris spoke on other topics, such as immigration, and gun control, a group supporting President Donald Trump shouted comments and staged a small rally outside the venue.
“They let us in after a little while, which I give them props on. But really it’s just about letting her know that we’re going to hold her accountable. We’re going to hit the streets and let her know that what she’s doing is illegal,” said rally organizer Jeffery Perrine.
Despite the interruptions, Harris continued on message.
Harris says progress is being made when it comes to police training as she says some two thousand officers have now completed implicit bias training through the California Department of Justice, but she says more needs to be done.
“Law enforcement has a profound, profound responsibility and duty to be a voice for the voiceless and the vulnerable,” she said.