Kamala Harris’s Controversial Record As A District Attorney, Explained

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California Senator Kamala Harris has, in the roughly seven months since she began her presidential campaign, become a front-runner in the crowded Democratic primary. She even saw a significant bump in favorability in several major polls after the June debates, in which she took former Vice President Joe Biden to task for his views on school busing. She has positioned herself as a progressive candidate, thanks in large part to her deft ability to stand up to the Trump administration in her brief tenure as a Senator.

But Harris’s rise has irked some on the left, particularly those with an eye on her prosecutorial record as San Francisco District Attorney from 2004 until 2011 and, more famously, as California Attorney General, a position she held from 2011 until she joined the Senate in 2017. On Twitter, you’ll frequently see leftists referring to Harris as a cop and a fake progressive. So when fellow presidential hopeful Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard reamed Harris at the July 31 Democratic debate over her prosecutorial record, it not only visibly upset Harris — who has largely avoided mainstream criticism — but sent people in droves to Google to figure out what Gabbard was talking about.

So what is the deal with Harris’s record as a prosecutor? We break it down.