During a Tuesday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a former police officer, wrecked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) over wavering Republican support for members of law enforcement. Sure, Republicans love to trumpet supposed support for the “Blue Lives Matter” cause, but when police officers faced a murderous mob at the Capitol in January, how did Republican members of Congress respond? Many refused to meaningfully condemn the lies about the integrity of Biden’s electoral victory that the rioters used as a pretext.
Jordan attempted to talk over Demings as she made her passionate remarks. She began as follows:
‘I served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years. It is a tough job, and good police officers deserve your support. 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. Law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. They deserve better, and the American people deserve better.’
Less than a minute into her comments, Jordan tried to interrupt, prompting the Florida Congresswoman to pointedly remind him that she had the floor. Demings added as follows:
‘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.’
Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said that he wanted to “remind” members of the panel not to interrupt whoever was speaking — and Jordan interrupted Nadler while he was trying to deliver the reminder to respect others’ time. Demings chimed in that Jordan doesn’t “know what in the heck” he’s talking about — which seems like a pretty widely applicable observation to make about the petulant Ohio Republican. The Florida Congresswoman added that Jordan (who complained that his “motive” was getting questioned) “know[s] nothing” about the day-to-day experiences of law enforcement officers. Instead, Demings said, Jordan was “using” officers as “pawns” for his “ridiculous political purpose.”
Check out the exchange below:
Broadly, Republicans often oppose efforts to enact police reforms, which has the net effect of undercutting efforts to make police departments effectively serve the communities in which they are located. Military-grade equipment for police departments and frequent use of excessive force by officers do not equate to effective policing. Instead, they amount to violent and potentially deadly theatrics that Republicans appear to prefer backing instead of actually effective policy measures.