Harris, a former prosecutor and California attorney general, conceded that she doesn’t know all the facts of Blake’s case and reiterated she would want the officer to be given due process. Asked if she felt the officer’s use of force was justified, Harris said “I don’t see it. But I don’t have all the evidence.”
“The man was going to his car. He didn’t appear to be armed,” she said. “If he was not armed, the use of force that was seven bullets coming out of a gun at close range in the back of the man, I don’t see how anybody could reason that that was justifiable.”
Blake’s shooting came amid a summer of protests against anti-Black racism and police violence following the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who was detaining him. President Donald Trump condemned the rioting and looting that has sprung up adjacent to the protests, threatening the use of federal forces to quash the unrest.
Trump has repeatedly used the racial tensions as a campaign talking point, contrasting his “law and order message” with Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Harris. Trump administration officials said Thursday that the uprisings in some cities are benefiting the president’s reelection campaign.
Both Harris and Biden condemned Trump Thursday for using incendiary language and threatening federal force in the face of fraught racial conflicts, accusing the president of stoking discord for his own political gain.