“When we look at the issue of assault weapons, let’s be really clear. Assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short period of time. Let’s look at the facts: 1 in 4 police officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire is killed by an assault weapon.”
That was Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris on May 15. To curb assault weapons, the California senator announced on May 12, “I’m prepared to take executive action because that’s what’s needed.”
That would take place, along with other executive orders on gun control, within 100 days of Harris’ election as president. The candidate’s announcements invite a look at the way she handled past cases of criminals using assault rifles to kill police officers.
In 1994, UC Berkeley law grad Kamala Harris 30, met powerful Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, thirty years her senior. Harris became “the Speaker’s new steady” and Brown appointed Harris to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the California Medical Assistance Commission, lucrative sinecures that helped Harris run for office. Willie Brown also raised money for Harris in her run for San Francisco district attorney in 2003.
Harris defeated her former boss Terence Hallinan but promised never to seek the death penalty. In 2004, gang member David Hill used an AK-47 to gun down San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco and an opponent of so-called “assault weapons” called for the death penalty in the case.
“This is not only the definition of tragedy,” Feinstein said, “it’s the special circumstance called for by the death penalty law.” She made the announcement in a church, during Espinosa’s funeral, and drew a standing ovation.
Police Officers Association president Gary Delagnes immediately reversed his previous backing of Harris’ decision not to seek the death penalty. Delagnes demanded that the killer of officer Espinosa, who also wounded officer John Payne, “pay the ultimate price.” Delagnes also drew an ovation but according to the San Francisco Chronicle report, the officer earned “a dirty look from Harris, who was sitting in the front row.”
For the murder of police officer Espinosa and the attempted murder of police officer John Payne, David Hill drew a life sentence. Harris then turned attention away from violent criminals and cop killers.
In her 2009 Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make us Safer, written with ghostwriter Joan O’C. Hamilton, Harris found the number of nonviolent offenders “truly staggering” and put them at the top of her “crime pyramid.” The next year, Harris ran for state attorney general and the Sacramento Bee endorsed her Republican rival Steve Cooley.
California’s attorney general stayed quiet in 2014 when Mexican national Luis Bracamontes gunned down police officers Danny Oliver and Michael Davis. In 2015, repeatedly deported felon Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, another Mexican national, shot and killed Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier. Attorney General Harris defended the city’s sanctuary policy and failed even to decry “gun violence” in the case.
That same year, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik used assault rifles to kill 14 unarmed innocents and wound 22 at an office party in San Bernardino. A year later, Attorney General Harris issued a statement on the “devastating and tragic terrorist attack,” but failed to name the Islamic terrorists and their motive for the mass murder.
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