The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing today on the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a bill aimed at reducing the recent uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes. The legislation goes to a vote tomorrow and if passed it would allow the Department of Justice to more quickly review pandemic-related hate crimes against Asian Americans as well as allocate resources to local police departments looking to curb such crimes.
During the hearing today, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) went off on a rant attacking Democrats for the way they’ve been talking about policing in America. In response, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), the former Chief of Police for the Orlando Police Department, offered some insight into the true nature of law enforcement.
“I served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years. It is a tough job. And good police officers deserve your support,” said Demings. “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 added, perhaps referring to the manner in which Republicans lined up to support Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the FBI or perhaps referring to the continued support they lent him after he incited a deadly insurrection in which his supporters assaulted police officers.
“Law enforcement risk their lives every day. They deserve better and the American people deserve better,” Demings went on before Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to interrupt her. Demings refused to allow him.
“I have the floor Mr. Jordan!” said Demings. “Did I strike a nerve? Law enforcement officers deserve better than to be utilized as pawns. You and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves!”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) admonished the relevant committee members for interrupting Demings and told them they can’t “shout out” whenever they want to be heard. Jordan claimed that he agreed with Nadler’s observation.
“Mr. Jordan you don’t know what in the heck you’re talking about,” said Demings, adding that the Republican Congressman knows nothing about what policing is actually like and is simply trying to use cops as pawns. At that point, Nadler tried to reassert order while Jordan continued to babble on.
“I have watched [law enforcement officers] live and die and you know nothing about that and to use them as political pawns pisses me off,” Demings said to Jordan. The Republican Congressman continued to argue with Nadler, displaying all of the maturity of a particularly stupid child who had somehow managed to wander into the hearing.
Finally, Demings was allowed to use her speaking time without interruption and used it to slam Republicans for pretending to care about law enforcement while simultaneously supporting a lawless president who incited an insurrection on January 6th.
Watch the verbal tussle below.
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