‘Preventing A Tragedy’: Rep. Val Demings Defends Officer In Ma’Khia Shooting

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Jesse Stiller Contributor
Font Size:

Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings defended Officer Nicholas Reardon Sunday, stating that he was “preventing a tragedy” in the police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’khia Bryant.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” Demings was asked about whether the police shooting of Bryant was an example of excessive force or out of the norm of typical police training. Officer Reardon shot and killed Bryant on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio after she appeared to lunge at a girl with a knife. The incident sparked a new wave of protests.

“When I served as police chief, what I prayed for, daily, was that my police officers would respond as they are trained to do,” Demings said recanting her experience as chief of the Orlando Police Department.

Demings recalled that after every incident involving force, the office would review the policies and determine whether the policies “met the moment.”

“It’s a sad moment for me, but I also was a patrol officer who was out there on the street having to make those split-second decisions,” Demings said, adding that those decisions were “tough.” (RELATED: ‘I Guess I Would Shoot’: Juan Williams Says Cops Should Have Fired A Warning Shot Before Shooting Ma’Khia Bryant)

Demings said that the officer responded “as he was trained to do with the main thought of preventing a tragedy.”

CNN Hosts Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo also defended Officer Reardon, stating that the officer “had a duty to protect the life” of the victim Bryant was trying to assault.