Prominent southern black Democrat leader changes endorsement from Clinton to Sanders

State Rep. Justin T. Bamberg initially supported Clinton in December, but announced his reversal in a press conference on Monday.

‘Bernie represents bold new leadership and is not afraid to challenge the status quo,’ Bamberg said.

Bamberg, an attorney, is representing the family of Walter Scott, an African-American Charleston man who was slain last year by a white police officer in a shooting which a secretly recorded video suggested was unwarranted

Bamberg, an attorney, happens to be representing the family of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old North Charleston man who was killed by a police officer last April.

Scott’s murder drew national attention after a video surfaced showing Scott was shot in the back while fleeing the officer, Michael Slager. Slager has been fired and charged with murder.

He was released on bond earlier this month and is currently under house arrest. H goes to trial in October.

Bamberg on Monday also pushed back at a common complaint of Sanders, that his call for guaranteed health care and other government-administered benefits makes him unelectable.

‘We live in the greatest country on earth…we put man on the moon, don’t tell me that we cannot provide Americans the right, the right to healthcare because that right is a matter of life and death for many Americans,’ Bamberg said.

‘Don’t tell me that Sen. Bernie Sanders cannot become president of the United States of America.’

Sanders has had a rocky relationship with the Black Lives Matter movement, which has criticized the Vermont senator for not mentioning racism enough in his campaign platform.

Bamberg's announcement Monday was significant for Sanders, who has been criticized by the Black Lives Matter movement

Bamberg said in an interview in The New York Times ‘Hillary Clinton is more a representation of the status quo when I think about politics or about what it means to be a Democrat.’

‘Bernie Sanders on the other hand is bold. He doesn’t think like everyone else. He is not afraid to call things as they are.’

Bamberg said he was initially unfamiliar with Sanders but later changed his mind after the two men discussed the Scott case.

‘What I got from him was not a presidential candidate talking to a state representative, or an old white man talking to a young black guy,’ Bamberg said.

‘What I got from him was a man talking to a man about things that they are passionate about, and that was the tipping point for me.’

Despite the endorsement, Sanders has an uphill battle to beat Clinton South Carolina, where the latest polling average as compiled by Real Clear Politics shows Clinton up by 33 points. However, her support has fallen from an average of 55 points last June.

Source: The DailyMail

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