LAKE MARY, Fla. - Congresswoman Val Demings, who served as Orlando's police chief from 2007 to 2011, has stepped into the national spotlight over the deadly arrest of George Floyd.
She agreed to sit down with FOX 35 for an interview after she penned a scorching Washington Post opinion piece aimed at law enforcement.
"I felt compelled as a former woman in blue, 'Look, I'm one of you guys. I've done this job. I know what you go through, but this shouldn't have happened,' and I asked the question, 'What the hell are you doing?'" Demings draws on her experience as a former police chief, and she said she understands the despair within the black community in Central Florida and across the country.
"This situation is very familiar to us with what happened to Eric Garner in New York, and once he said he couldn't breathe, it should have brought back a very painful story from New York, so i just don't understand." Demings knows the brutal final minutes of Floyd's life hits close to home for many people of color, but she also understands the incredibly difficult challenges and dangers that police officers face daily. Demings believes cooler heads must prevail and mutual trust can be achieved between law enforcement and the communities they serve, but only when justice is applied equitably.
"I know it's tough, but the officers involved in this case were wrong, and they have to be held accountable," she added.