Florida Congresswoman Demings Defends Ohio Officer in Fatal Shooting

Val Demings


U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10) defended the police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

Demings appeared on the CBS Sunday program Face the Nation and said the officer had to make a split-second call, and the officer ended up saving a life in the process.

“Everybody has the benefit of slowing the video down and seizing the perfect moment. The officer on the street does not have that ability. He or she has to make those split-second decisions and they’re tough,” Demings said. “But the limited information that I know in viewing the video, it appears that the officer responded as he was trained to do with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted.”

The officer-involved fatal shooting shooting in Columbus, Ohio took place on the same day the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial was issuing its guilty verdict, causing an uproar on social media. However, much of the outrage was due to early reports that Bryant was unarmed, which lead to protests around the country calling for accountability towards law enforcement involved with “another” shooting of an unarmed person.

However, a 10-second video released to the public of police body cam footage shows Bryant with a knife lunging toward another woman pinned against a vehicle.

Before her election to the House, Demings served as Orlando Chief of Police. She said when she speaks to law enforcement officers, she encourages them to continue to use the training they receive by their departments but to also show compassion for the communities they patrol and serve.

“The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers in this nation are good people who go to work every day to protect those, protect and serve our communities,” Demings said. “I remind them of that. Always stand on the right side, speak up and be professional and do the job that you are paid to do,” she said.

Demings also appeared on The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart, where she confirmed she is seriously considering a run for governor or challenging Sen. Marco Rubio for his Senate seat.

“I am seriously considering running, Jonathan,” Demings said. “I have received calls and texts and messages from people all over the state asking me to run because they feel that they are not represented, and their voices are not heard. And I believe that every Floridian deserves to have representation regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, how much money they have in the bank, their sexual orientation, or their religion. And so, I am seriously considering it and I will certainly let you know.”

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 





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