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Demings criticized her GOP colleagues for introducing an amendment to the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, calling it “completely irrelevant.”
Florida Rep. Val Demings and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio clashed during a Tuesday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, where a bill called the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was being considered.
The legislation would seek to provide incentives for reporting hate crimes, boost funding to state-run hate crime hotlines and increase the penalties for people convicted of such crimes under current statutes.
The Democratic lawmaker criticized her Republican colleagues for introducing an amendment to the bill “completely irrelevant.” The amendment would prevent the defunding of police departments, however, the bill doesn’t include a provision to strip money from law enforcement.
“I served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years,” said Demings, who was formerly the police chief in Orlando. “It is a tough job, and good police officers deserve your support. You know, it’s interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the police when it is politically convenient to do so.”
It was then that Jordan attempted to interrupt his fellow lawmaker, who responded forcefully, shouting, “I have the floor, Mr. Jordan! What? Did I strike a nerve?”
“Law enforcement officers deserve better than to be utilized as pawns, and you and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves,” Demings continued.
She went on to note that Republicans have been silent on the 100-plus officers who were injured in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which was perpetrated by supporters of Donald Trump.
On CNN later last night, Demings addressed the guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial, saying that it “signals that we can be that American that we’re supposed to be.”
Demings also voiced her support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would create a national registry of police misconduct, ban religious and racial profiling and would overhaul qualified immunity, which prevents officers from being personally sued for their criminal actions.
Jordan’s interaction with Demings isn’t the first time he has been on the receiving end of the recent wrath of one of his Black female colleagues. Earlier this month, Jordan, a Trump ally, tried to interrupt and talk over Dr. Anthony Fauci and was told by Congresswoman Maxine Waters: “Shut your mouth.”
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