Orlando’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings, a former Orlando Police Chief, on Monday blasted the Republican National Committee’s platform on law enforcement, saying it politicizes police while making no effort to hold them accountable.
“For the RNC to take this moment to use law enforcement, or try to, as a political pawn, I think it’s disgraceful. And shameful,” Demings said Monday.
Demings was speaking on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which on Monday is launching a series of preemptive strikes on Republicans as they begin their national convention to get behind President Donald Trump‘s reelection bid.
Joined by Kate Bedingfield, communications director for the Biden campaign, Demings topic was “how Trump’s chaos presidency caused a crisis for families” and she stuck to that in her prepared remarks, charging that the President has offered a total absence of leaderships or a clear reasonable, sensible plan to deal with the coronavirus crisis and the ensuing economic and social crises.
Demings insisted Biden has always stood with law enforcement.
‘The question is: do we hold law enforcement officers who engage in misconduct accountable?” Demings said. “I’m really extremely disappointed that the RNC, led by this President, would try to use law enforcement as a political pawn. When as you know, the last thing law enforcement should be is political.”
“The men and women in blue have a tough job to do. And we do know that the overwhelming majority of them do a good, decent job. I don’t mind anybody celebrating good police officers,” she said. “But I also believe the RNC would be better served this week if they took their time to celebrate the good ones but also to send a clear message that we have to hold the bad ones accountable.”
During this time of police and community tension, Demings continued, leaders need to send a clear message that the police are part of the community and the community is part of the police. It’s a mantra that Demings has used since her time with the Orlando Police Department, where she served for 26 years.
Her recommendation is for leaders to look at hiring standards, at training, and the officers doing the training.