Democratic Representative Defends Officer Who Shot Ma’Khia Bryant

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It appears that not everyone on the left is trying to exploit the police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) defended the officer that was involved in the shooting, referring to her personal experience as a former police officer.

Officer Nicholas Reardon killed Bryant, a 16-year-old black teenager after responding to a call about a violent disturbance. Bodycam footage showed him firing his weapon, after Bryant appeared to lunge at another black girl while holding a knife.

“When I served as a police chief, what I prayed for daily, was that my police officers would respond as they are trained to do,” Demings said during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

Demings explained that each incident would still require a full review to ensure the officers acted according to policy.

“It’s a sad moment for me,” the lawmaker said. “But I also was a patrol officer, who was out there on the street having to make those split-second decisions. You know, now, everybody has the benefit of slowing the video down and seizing the perfect moment. The officer on the street does not have that ability.”

Demings continued, pointing out that split-second decisions are “tough.” She said that based on “the limited information that I know and viewing the video, it appears that the officer responded as he was trained to do, with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted.”

The shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant was tragic. However, the footage shows that Reardon did not have another viable choice. High-profile leftists have criticized his handling of the situation, making absurd and ignorant suggestions. The View’s Joy Behar, along with others, suggested that he could have shot Bryant in the leg or fired a warning shot into the air.

Unfortunately, real life is not a Clint Eastwood film and none of these suggestions are grounded in reality. The conditions and policies that lead to this type of behavior will persist until serious people on both sides work towards genuine solutions.