Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), the former Police Chief of Orlando, broke with other Democrats and Black Lives Matter to defend 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 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.
Former Orlando police chief @RepValDemings weighs in on the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting:— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) April 25, 2021
"It appears the officer responded as he was trained to do," she tells @jdickerson based on footage she's seen.
She calls the incident a "sad moment." pic.twitter.com/HuVs13MBsJ
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."