Kamala Harris Changes Mind on Attending Criminal Justice Event After Protesting Award Given to Trump

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) reversed herself after initially saying she was skipping a criminal justice forum in South Carolina after President Donald Trump was given an award for helping pass the First Step Act.

Harris, a Democratic presidential candidate, committed to speak at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College in South Carolina.

But she said late Oct. 25, hours after Trump was given the Bipartisan Justice Award and a day prior to her scheduled appearance, she would no longer go.

“Today, when it became clear Donald Trump would receive an award after decades of celebrating mass incarceration, pushing the death penalty for innocent Black Americans, rolling back police accountability measures and racist behavior that puts peoples lives at risk … I cannot in good faith be complicit in papering over his record,” she said.

Harris changed her mind, her campaign said in a statement the next day. The campaign said the group that gave Trump the award was removed as a sponsor for the forum, prompting the reversal.

“After Senator Kamala Harris stood up and objected to their group awarding Trump and excluding HBCU students from participating, the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center was removed as a sponsor for the criminal justice forum at Benedict College,” the Harris campaign said in a statement.

kamala harris reacts live to shooting
kamala harris reacts live to shooting
Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) attends a health care roundtable at the Loft at the First United Methodist Church in Burlington, Iowa, Aug. 12, 2019. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)
President Donald Trump (C) is awarded the Bipartisan Justice Award by Matthew Charles (R), who was released from federal prison through the First Step Act, prior to delivering remarks at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum in Columbia, South Carolina on Oct. 25, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

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