Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) probably wasn’t expecting this when she agreed to appear on Tuesday morning on The View via satellite from New Hampshire.
Following an opening segment that contained mostly softball questions about the state of the Democratic primary race, the show turned things over to co-host Sunny Hostin after a break.
Noting that “you need African-American support to become the Democratic nominee,” Hostin told Klobuchar, “Your tough on crime approach when you were a county attorney in Minnesota is criticized for disproportionately harming black and brown people, and when I look at that record, you know, you failed to prosecute a single killing by the police during the eight years you headed prosecutions, and there were more than two dozen police-involved killings in that period.”
“How do you defend that record?” Hostin asked.
“We all know there is systematic racism in this criminal justice system, there's no doubt about that,” Klobuchar replied, going on to defend her record of prosecuting white-collar criminals and decreasing incarceration rates for African-Americans. “But there is so much more work that we have to do,” she added, “and that's why when I got to the U.S. Senate, I started working on things like the First Step Act, which we passed, which has decreased the criminal penalties and allowed some nonviolent offenders to get out of prison.”
If she thought that was going to be it on that topic, she was very wrong. Hostin proceeded to bring up Klobuchar’s prosecution of 16-year-old Myon Burrell, a black teenager who is now serving a life sentence for murder despite evidence that suggests he could be innocent.
“It gives me no pleasure to say this because as you know, I was a prosecutor as well,” Hostin said. “I have reviewed the facts of that case, and it is one of the most flawed investigations and prosecutions that I think I have ever seen.” As the mother of a black teenager, she called the case her “worst nightmare.”
As she has done before, Klobuchar called for all of the evidence to be “immediately reviewed” in that case, but that was not enough for Hostin, who said, “You're a U.S. senator now. You're a powerful woman. What do you plan to do to right this wrong?”
Hostin continued to press the candidate on the specifics of that case to the point that moderator Joy Behar jumped in from off-screen with, “Are we prosecuting Amy Klobuchar today?”
With that, Hostin ceded the floor to Meghan McCain, but before Klobuchar signed off, she said, “I look forward to coming into the studio, Sunny and I can talk more.”
“She’s tough. Sunny Hostin is tough,” Behar added with a laugh. “We’ll be right back.”