Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings blew up at Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on COVID-19 hate crimes after he attempted to interject as she spoke about law enforcement.
Jordan had sought an amendment to current legislation under consideration while going on to criticize months’ worth of anti-police rhetoric from Democrats, many of whom have condemned officers’ sometimes deadly responses to threats while calling for departments to be defunded.
Demings, who spent 27 years in law enforcement and rose to the rank of chief of police of the Orlando (Fla.) Police Department, responded by calling Jordan’s amendment “completely irrelevant.”
“It is interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support police when it is politically convenient to do so. Law enforcement officers risk their lives every day, they deserve better,” Demings insisted.
(Video: Dinesh D’Souza/YouTube)
At that, Jordan attempted to interrupt, prompting a loud, fiery response from Demings: “I have the floor, Mr. Jordan! What, did I strike a nerve?!”
While banging her hand on her desk, Demings continued yelling at Jordan as Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) attempted to restore order.
“Law enforcement officers deserve better than to be utilized as pawns! And you and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves!” Demings hollered. “Mr. Jordan, you don’t know what in the heck you’re talkin’ about. You know nothin’ about what law enforcement officers do.”
“I know about my motive,” Jordan interjected.
“You’re using them as pawns because it serves your ridiculous political purpose!” she fired back.
Jordan said he was objecting to Republicans’ motives being questioned and attacked by Democrats including the committee chairman, Nadler. “How do we respond to that?” he asked, as Nadler continued to try and restore order.
Amid crosstalk, Demings added, again banging her hand, “This is emotionally charging to me because I was a law enforcement officer, I have watched them live and die, and you know nothing about it.”
Once order was restored, Demings went on to accuse Republicans of supporting police officers only when it was politically convenient to do so, claiming they were silent during the Jan. 6 riot and failed to support the most recent $2 trillion COVID-19 relief measure that included bailouts of state and local governments, some of which went for law enforcement.
Jordan ridiculed Demings’s characterization of him and his party by noting Republicans have regularly stood up for police, especially throughout the summer and fall of last year as officers were attacked nightly during riots and looting in dozens of U.S. cities, long after the initial violence following the death of George Floyd.
“We condemned the violence on Jan. 6 and we condemned it last summer. It would’ve been nice if our colleagues on the other side had done the same,” an emotional Jordan noted.
“Last summer when police were being pelted with frozen water bottles, bricks, and beat up, where were they? They were raising money to bail out rioters who were doing those very actions to the police,” Jordan said. “And today we get a lecture about how we haven’t been consistent, you’ve got to be kidding me!”
Democrats supporting bail-out funds for rioters included then-California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, as noted at the time by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who accused her and then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of embracing “the Democratic Party’s new pro-criminal agenda.”
As for Demings, her law enforcement career was marred with controversy.
While serving as Orlando’s police chief, she was accused of overseeing a culture of “excessive force allegations,” according to a 2015 report in The Atlantic.
A 2008 Orlando Weekly investigation of police behavior during Demings’s tenure concluded that the Orlando PD “is a place where rogue cops operate with impunity, and there’s nothing anybody who finds himself at the wrong end of their short fuse can do about it.”
Also, Demings was censured by city officials after her service weapon, a Sig Sauer 9mm, was stolen from her vehicle. It was never recovered.
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