The first black woman to be crowned Miss Alabama said she finds it difficult to feel sad for the five law enforcement officers who were killed last Thursday in Dallas, and added that she “can’t help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr.”
Kalyn Chapman James, who went on to place in the top 10 in the 1994 Miss America pageant, also said, however, that she didn’t want to “feel this way” about the cop killer and police officers he murdered.
“I don’t want to feel this way” James said in a video she posted Sunday to her Facebook page. “I don’t feel sad for the officers who lost their lives … I know that’s not really my heart. I value human life. And I want to feel sad for them but I can’t help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr.”
Later that evening, when contacted by AL.com, she explained her thoughts further. (Paragraph breaks added for clarity.)
“My heart and my mind were conflicted because these are difficult and very emotional times for so many people. I went to church to address my feelings and deal with them from a perspective of forgiveness and love. Especially forgiving myself for feeling that way.
I regret that any people lost their lives this week and I am saddened by all of the shootings that occurred. But, this is not about me. When reading about the killings of those black men, I was mortified by some of the comments about them. Many People were not conflicted at all about those deaths. Some were okay with this.
These are raw wounds that are fresh and, while I apologize if I offended anyone, I cannot help the way I feel as I continue to process these events and deal with the flood of emotions that come from witnessing such atrocities – both against citizens and officers of the law.
The fact that my opinion was considered newsworthy makes me feel like speaking up was exactly what I should do, because I can voice what so many people are feeling and dealing with and they should know they are not alone.
I reiterate that I do not condone violence or killing at all. I offer my deepest condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones this week, including the officers in Dallas.”
Five police officers lost their lives Thursday and seven more officers and one civilian were wounded at a Dallas demonstration protesting the officer-involved shooting deaths earlier in Louisiana and Minnesota.
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