Dem representative for Florida, Val Demings, broke with LeBron James on CBS’s “Face the Nation” saying she thought the officer who shot the young girl with the knife in Columbus, Ohio “responded as he was trained to do.”
CBS anchor John Dickerson said, “Let me ask you about the George Floyd Policing Act and this awful incident, Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio. So under- as I understand it, under the legislation, federal officials, police officers — they would be restrained from using excessive force unless a third party was in danger and unless they couldn’t deescalate.
“Those seem to be the facts of the case in the Bryant case, which means that under the standards set in the Floyd Policing Act, the officer, in that case, seems to have acted as they were trained and supposed to?”
LeBron James and many others rushed to judge what the officer did without getting near enough facts to make public proclamations. James faced a fierce backlash from many including Senator Ted Cruz who called James reckless. James has since deleted the tweet and called for all the facts to come forward.
Demings said, “Well, you know, John, when I served as a police chief, what I prayed for daily was that my police officers would respond as they are trained to do.
“Now, after every incident, we would have to go back and look at our policies and make sure that the policies met the moment.
“But look, I worked as a social worker with foster care children. So it’s a- it’s a sad moment for me.
“But I also was a patrol officer who was out there on the street having to make those split-second decisions.
“You know, now everybody has the benefit of slowing the video down and- 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.
“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- and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted.”
From The Guardian:
Val Demings, a Democratic congresswoman and former police chief, said on Sunday the officer who fatally shot teenager Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio this week “responded as he was trained to do”.
In an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation, Demings spoke about the Columbus officer’s actions and how her time as Orlando police chief informed her perspective on police reform.
Ma’Khia, 16, was shot and killed on Tuesday, about 20 minutes before the former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.
Franklin county, where Ma’Khia was killed, has one of the highest rates of fatal police shootings in the US.
In a departure from protocol, officials released body camera footage soon after Ma’Khia was killed. The video appears to show her swinging a knife at another individual. Officer Nicholas Reardon shoots at Ma’Khia, who falls.