Florida Democrat Rep. Val Demings broke with her party and is defending the Columbus police officer who shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant while she was attempting to stab a black girl during an altercation.
During her interview on “Face the Nation,” Demings called the incident a “sad moment,” but said the officer did what he was trained to do, which is to protect himself and the life of others who face immediate danger.
“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 the policies met the moment,” Demings said.
Demings said she has worked as a patrol officer who had to make “those split-second decisions.”
“Now everybody has the benefit of slowing the video down and sees in 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,” she added.
The New York Post reported on the shooting.
Newly released 911 calls and dramatic police bodycam footage provide disturbing new details of the police shooting death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio on Tuesday.
Columbus police also identified the cop who fired the fatal shots as Nicholas Reardon, who has been with the force since 2019, officials said at a press conference.
Police released a portion of Reardon’s bodycam video on Tuesday — but not the extended footage or the other cops’ video.
All of the cameras show Bryant fighting with another girl before she is seen lunging at one with what appears to be a knife when she is shot.
After the shooting last week, Democrats have argued the exact opposite because it’s politically beneficial for them.
Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib called for police to be defunded.
Tlaib tweeted, “Ma’Khia’s TikTok videos show her childhood and joy. Her smile at the end of the videos just breaks me a little more. It’s been maddening to see so many people strip away the fact that a child was killed. We cannot be a society that justifies the killing of a child.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the fatal shooting during a press briefing last week, saying, “The killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by the Columbus police is tragic. She was a child. We’re thinking of her friends and family and the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss.”
The official Black Lives Matter organization released a statement on Friday condemning the officer who shot Bryant.
“At the exact same time the verdict of Derek Chauvin was being read for murdering George Floyd, police wasted no time in senselessly taking another Black child. Ma’Khia Bryant. We say her name. Ma’Khia Bryant called the police for help,” BLM said. “Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon showed up and shot this 16-year-old child point-blank within a matter of seconds. Another Black life stolen with no regard.”