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Fact check: Kamala Harris said she supports protests, not ‘riots’, in Late Show clip

Social media users have been sharing a video of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris saying that anti-racism protests will not and should not stop, claiming that it shows she supports Black Lives Matter riots.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The video being shared by social media users ( youtu.be/5XxLR2r5oPg ) shows a clip of Harris on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert saying: “But they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. They’re not. This is a movement. I’m telling you. They’re not going to stop, and everyone, beware. Because they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop before election day in November, and they are not going to stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that on both levels. That they’re not going to let up. And they should not, and we should not.”

Above the video clip there is the headline: “Harris on BLM riots: ‘Beware,’ they’re not gonna stop.”

Captions with the video include, “Democrats like rioters. They like terrorists. They support looters and arsonists. Democrats hate America. Crush the Democrats.” (here; “Kamala Harris continually advocates for riots and disruption as a valid response.” ( here ); “Kamala Harris promises that the BLM riots will not stop. They will continue until election day and beyond.” ( here )  

Another post reads, “Kamala Harris says that the riots are not going to stop, ever, and to BEWARE. With a smile on her face.” ( here

The video of Harris speaking to Colbert is authentic, following her appearance on The Late Show in June. Colbert asks Harris, “How important is it for these protests to continue?” Harris responds that it is “critically important”, saying that some of the success achieved around criminal justice reforms would not have happened in recent years without Black Lives Matter ( here ).

Colbert later clarifies that he understands protests are continuing but he meant to ask why he is not seeing continued reporting about these demonstrations. Her response to this question is the clip that has been cut and shared independently in the social media posts: here  .

In her response in the clip from the Late Show there is no mention of riots, violent protests, looting or arson.

Harris condemned violent protests on Aug. 27 after multiple nights of looting and two violent deaths.

She said, “It’s no wonder people are taking to the streets and I support them. We must always defend peaceful protest and peaceful protestors. We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including the shooter who was arrested for murder. And make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice.”  ( here )

Harris joined anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd. She wrote about her support for the protests and her experience at the protests in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Sentinel  here  .

Demonstrations against racism and police brutality have swept across the United States for months, set off by the May 25 death of George Floyd. ( here ).

A study by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) found that between May 26 and Aug. 22 more than 93% of demonstrations connected to Black Lives Matter were peaceful ( here ).

VERDICT

Partly false. Harris’ comments on The Late Show expressing support for protests are authentic. However, there is no mention of riots or violent protests in this interview. Harris has previously condemned violent protests.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .

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