As the Biden campaign continues to struggle with gaffes from the former vice president, many supporters argue that announcing his pick for Vice President would reinvigorate the campaign and possibly draw some positive attention to Vice President Biden’s (D) presidential candidacy. Although Biden has not made a formal announcement as to who will be his pick for the vice presidency, the presidential hopeful did announce that there is a shortlist of qualified female lawmakers that he has in mind, and one of those lawmakers is Florida Rep. Val Demings (D).
Having been appointed as chief of the Orlando Police Department in 2007, she was the first woman to lead the department, and Democrats argue that picking her as his Vice President would help him with his backing of the past crime bill that has been viewed as controversial in hindsight.
However, although some might see Demings as a strong candidate to revitalize the Biden campaign, detractors argue that her time spent as part of the Orlando Police Department is marred by controversy as well.
Serving as chief from 2007 to 2011, the police department was heavily criticized with allegations of using excessive force along with receiving criticism for having a lack of transparency that dated back before her time as chief. In addition, between 2010 and 2014, the department issued $3.3 million in damages regarding at least 47 lawsuits that dealt with excessive force, false arrests and numerous other complaints.
Moreover, in a 2008 Orlando Weekly expose, the department was described as “as a place where rogue cops operate with impunity, and there’s nothing anybody who finds himself at the wrong end of their short fuse can do about it.”
When asked about possibly taking on the role of Biden’s VP, Demings has not directly answered the question. As well, she has been asked regarding Biden’s sexual assault allegation, but the Florida lawmaker has not responded to that claim either. Still, Democrats are hopeful that an announcement will be made soon regarding Biden’s pick for VP, and all eyes are anxiously waiting to see who is chosen.