U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Orlando, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-1950s, had a heated exchange last week during a House Judiciary hearing. Jordan tried to cut off Demings as she spoke about law enforcement during debate over the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would address the surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans. Republicans introduced a pointless amendment to prevent the defunding of police departments even though the legislation does not seek to strip law enforcement funding. (Question for another day: What do you call virtue signaling when it's not virtue you're signaling?)
“I want to make it quite clear that this amendment is completely irrelevant,” Demings, who served as chief of the Orlando Police Department for three years, seethed.
“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,” she continued in a somewhat more measured tone. Then Jordan tried to interject, but Demings stood her ground: “I have the floor, Mr. Jordan,” she declared, smacking the table and glaring over her shoulder.
“Did I strike a nerve?” she then asked. “Law enforcement officers deserve better that to be utilized as pawns. And you and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves!” House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler interrupted, “The gentlelady — the gentlelady — the gentlelady will suspend —” in an attempt to restore order to the hearing.
When Demings finished her sentence, Nadler admonished members not to "shout out when they disagree" and Jordan brown-nosingly chimed in: "I agree!" (as if he weren't the one doing the interrupting on Demings' time).
Demings shot back: “Mr. Jordan, you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.” Give ’em hell, Val.
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