11 August 2020 00:31
opinion Public defender: I worked with Kamala Harris. There has been much talk about the time Sen. Kamala Harris spent as a prosecutor. As a public defender for 24 years, I examined, critiqued and battled Harris when she was the San Francisco district attorney. And more often than not, Harris and I were on opposite sides. Having had this experience, I feel compelled to speak on Harris' record while she was a district attorney.
Simply put, Harris was the most progressive prosecutor in the state. This is not an anecdotal opinion. As San Francisco DA, Harris refused to seek the death penalty — even on a case where a very respected police officer was tragically killed. Unless there was a large grow case, or a unique circumstance, this was the reform-minded approach then-DA Harris' office took. Sen. Harris' progressive approach did not end with marijuana prosecutions or lack thereof.
Harris also formalized a court for young adults charged with felonies that resulted in them avoiding a conviction and getting a second chance. She brought in a stalwart progressive community organizer by hiring Lateefah Simon to lead that initiative, a diversionary program called Back on Track that set nonviolent offenders on a path to a new job and helped them rebuild within their communities. Back on Track still exists today and has been a pathway for many young adults to avoid the ravages of a felony conviction or incarceration. Harris programs adopted statewide Although we as public defenders may have disagreed with Harris at times or wanted more from her office, there is no one who can say that there was a more progressive district attorney in California than Kamala Harris. She implemented and expanded programs that are now the staple of many DA offices up and down the state.
I grappled with this idea of defending a former prosecutor for a long time, but Harris is more than that. I have to acknowledge the truth and say what I feel is right to set the record straight. Should Joe Biden decide not to select Kamala Harris as a running mate, her track record as San Francisco district attorney should certainly not be one of the reasons. Niki Solis, a public defender for over two decades, is a deputy public defender in San Francisco and was a manager in the public defender's office when Kamala Harris served as San Francisco district attorney. "Kamala" Harris, the 1980s wrestling star dubbed the "Ugandan Giant," has died at the age of 70. James Harris, who chose the stage name "Kamala" before his 1984 debut with World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly World Wrestling Federation), enjoyed a two-decadelong career in the ring, going up against the sport's biggest superstars, including Hulk Hogan, the Undertaker and his French counterpart, André the Giant. At 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds, "he terrorized opponents and thrilled audiences in Mid-South, World Class Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE until 2006," said WWE on their website. "Not much was known about Kamala's life before venturing into sports-entertainment, other than that he was a savage from the wild who apparently worked as a bodyguard for former Ugandan leader Idi Amin. Wrestlers and fans took to social media to pay their respects. Your larger than life character will live on forever in our business," wrote WWE referee Tom Castor. Iranian wrestler the Iron Sheik said, "GOD BLESS THE KAMALA HE ALWAYS PUT ON A SHOW FOR THE FANS GOOD BIG MAN WHO WORKED THE GIMMICK BETTER THEN MOST IT BREAK MY HEART #ripkamala." "Another legend who deserved to be in @WWE Hall of Fame and ALIVE when that time came," said retired wrestler Da Pope, whose real name is Elijah Burke, on Instagram. RIP to the great 'Ugandan Giant' Kamala. James 'Kamala' Harris, the former WWE wrestler, has died aged 70. WWE 1 Harris starred for Vince McMahon's wrestling company during the late 1980s and early 90s WWE confirmed the untimely news in a statement last night. "WWE is saddened to learn that James Harris, known to WWE fans as Kamala, has passed away at age 70," read the statement. "Under the frightening face paint of Kamala, the 6-foot-7, 380-pound Harris battled the greatest Superstars in sports-entertainment history, including Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker and Andre the Giant. "He terrorised opponents and thrilled audiences in Mid-South, World Class Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE until 2006. "WWE extends its condolences to Harris' family, friends and fans." Right now, Kamala Harris is on the verge of what could be a life-altering and historic moment. Some people in Joe Biden's circle think his running-mate options are down to Harris and Susan Rice. And then former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown takes to the pages of his hometown newspaper to declare, "If Joe Biden offers the vice presidential slot to Sen. Kamala Harris, my advice to her would be to politely decline. Almost every political junkie has heard the stories of Harris' affair with Brown back in the 1990s, and how he appointed her to two state boards during their relationship. By itself, that's unlikely to determine Biden's running-mate selection or the 2020 presidential election. But Harris would no doubt prefer if Willie Brown simply disappeared for the next few months — or maybe forever — rather than intermittently popping up in public and weighing in on her career choices, and in the process, reminding the world of their special relationship when she was in her 30s and he was in his 60s and married. It says quite a bit about Brown that he doesn't have the sense to simply shut up on the topic of Kamala Harris, and writes these columns as if he's just another retired mayor writing about just another California senator. (Gray News) - James Harris, who wrestled as Kamala, has died at the age of 70, the WWE announced Sunday night. Wearing face paint, Harris thrilled fans as the "Ugandan Giant" in the WWE, Mid-South Wrestling, WCW and World Class Championship Wrestling. He battled wrestling superstars like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant during the heyday of what was then known as the World Wrestling Federation in the 80s. WWE is saddened to learn that James Harris, known to WWE fans as Kamala, has passed away at age 70. — WWE (@WWE) August 10, 2020