Sixers forward Tobias Harris joined Sen. Kamala Harris, the Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and the Blazers’ CJ McCollum in a discussion for McCollum’s new television show, “Remaking America,” released on Tuedsay.
Kamala Harris is the Democratic nominee for vice president on a ticket with former Vice President Joe Biden. She discussed voter suppression, police brutality, educational inequalities and other subjects.
Tobias Harris raised the case of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman from Louisville who was shot and killed by police in March. After having advocated for justice in Taylor’s case, he was disappointed when a grand jury charged former police officer Brett Hankinson last month with three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into neighboring apartments. Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the other two officers involved, were not charged.
“For me in the bubble, with everything going on, with us trying to really bring attention to the Breonna Taylor case and then to get the result that we did, it made myself personally feel like we’re bringing all this type of attention and we get a bad result,” Tobias Harris said.
“One thing I would want to know with yourself and VP Biden, what are ways you may handle it differently than our president now has handled it. Because a lot of it doesn’t sit well with myself, family members. I know that the African American community truly cares and knows that that could be their brother or sister next.”
Kamala Harris gave the following response:
“There is not a Black man I know, be he a relative or a friend, who has not had some experience with the police which has been about an unreasonable stop, some kind of profiling, or excessive force. So it starts with having leadership that speaks the truth about the fact of it. We don’t have that in the White House right now. But it matters who’s in a position of leadership and how they use the mic that’s in front of them. And part of this, on the issue of police brutality, is about speaking the truth of it. And then doing something about it.
"I was the first I think national elected leader to speak out about Breonna Taylor. And there are so many Breonnas and George Floyds. We all know that, right? One of the things that has made this issue now much more in the public sphere is because of smartphones. Now people are seeing what we’ve been knowing forever but maybe didn’t have witnesses. So having leadership that speaks the truth about it, and then what do we do in terms of reform? For example, we’re saying there needs to be a ban on chokeholds and carotid holds across the board. Let’s have a national registry of police officers who break the law.
"Why? Because in a lot of cases, those cases don’t go to court, it’s an administrative hearing; the person might get fired. They have just have to move to a new jurisdiction. Their record doesn’t follow them. So these are the kind of things that we have to put in place. There needs to be consequences and accountability. This phrase is used all the time and almost every time it is used, it’s directed at the person who is arrested and not at the system itself and the players in the system. And that’s the problem.”
The Sixers launched the “Vote 76” initiative in September to encourage voter participation and provide details on deadlines and logistics for the Nov. 3 election.
At a speech from Gettysburg earlier this month, Biden quoted new Sixers head coach Doc Rivers’ impassioned comments following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.