Sen. Kamala Harris’s boycott of a criminal justice reform event in South Carolina over its celebration of President Donald Trump the day before resulted in the sponsor’s being removed and the California Democrat resuming her participation, the Washington Post reports. Harris and nine other Democratic presidential candidates were scheduled to speak on the issue at Benedict College, a historically black college in Columbia, S.C. Harris said Friday she would skip the event and accused organizers of “papering over” Trump’s record of “decades of celebrating mass incarceration, pushing the death penalty for innocent Black Americans, rolling back police accountability measures and racist behavior that puts people’s lives at risk.”
Harris also took issue with the White House’s inviting only 10 students from the college to attend Trump’s speech, while filling the audience with his supporters. On Saturday afternoon, the college dropped the event’s sponsor, the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, and opened up the event to the larger student body to participate. Harris then changed her mind and ended her boycott. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) criticized the event for giving Trump “a platform unchecked for close to an hour” and for allowing “him to create some illusion of support from this community when, in fact, he excluded it.” Trump addressed the forum on Friday and received the Bipartisan Justice Award for signing into law the First Step Act.