Florida Rep. Val Demings (D), a former Chief of the Orlando Police Department and currently close to officially challenging Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) for his Senate seat next year, has announced new legislation regarding “concealable armor-piercing weapons.” Demings voted in favor of The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which requires “federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies to report data to DOJ on stops for traffic violations, pedestrian stops, frisks and body searches, and the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.”
However, states that do not conform with the law “would be ineligible to receive funding under JAG or any other law enforcement assistance program.” Rubio and GOP critics have dubbed her “a radical liberal ally,” arguing that her support for defunding the police is an example of a “radical agenda.” Still, Demings argues with the new legislation that it’s an effort to protect “police officers around the country.”
On Twitter, Demings announced that she had “introduced legislation to regulate the concealable armor-piercing weapons that have killed multiple police officers around the country.” Moreover, she called on members of Congress (Republicans) “who claim to ‘support law enforcement to join me on this legislation.”
I’ve introduced legislation to regulate the concealable armor-piercing weapons that have killed multiple police officers around the country.
I call on all of my colleagues who claim to “support law enforcement” to join me on this legislation.
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) May 26, 2021
Demings was appointed the Chief of the Orlando Police Department in 2007, and she was the first woman to lead the department.
However, the Orlando Police Department faced scrutiny after an article from the Atlantic claimed that the department had “a long record of excessive-force allegations, and a lack of transparency on the subject, dating back at least as far as Deming’s time as chief.”
In speaking on police reform, Demings released a statement in early June of last year, commenting that “to be clear: the overwhelming. a number of men and women in law enforcement are good, decent people who are a blessing to our nation. However, we desperately need additional changes to hold bad cops accountable.”
She further addressed that “to protect our communities and the life, liberty, and safety of every American, it is vital that we hold bad cops accountable, end unjust practices, increase transparency, and refocus police on their core mission: to protect and serve every American, regardless of their race.”