Kamala Harris

State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Phil Willon
July 13, 2016 – 9:51 P.M.

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday said that Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last week, would be alive today had he been white.

Harris, a candidate for U.S. Senate, made the comment to Jake Tapper on CNN.

Tapper noted that Castile had been pulled over by police on 52 separate occasions before the shooting. Tapper asked Harris if she agreed with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton that Castile’s race factored into why he was shot.

“I think that there’s no question … that based on the facts as I know it that he would not be dead,” Harris said. “That officer perceived him differently.”

Castile’s death, along with the fatal police shooting of another African American man in Louisiana, Alton Sterling, triggered a wave of protests nationwide. That included a rally in Dallas on Thursday night, when a gunman killed five officers and wounded nine others. Harris called the Dallas shooting a “massacre.”