Thursday, Rep. Val Demings tweeted: “We can’t be too politically correct when we’re talking about racism. It’s the ghost in the room and we have to address this head on and come out with better laws and policies.”
The Hill reported that Rep. Val Demings said Sunday that “systemic racism is always the ghost in the room” after acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s said that he doesn’t think there is a “systemic racism problem” in law enforcement.
The Florida Democrat, who has been mentioned as a possible running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, told host Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week” that the country has to be “painfully honest.”
Demings added that the U.S. has been “fighting systemic racism in this country for 400 years,” long before protests broke out over George Floyd’s death.
Earlier on the show Wolf said that a “systemic racism problem” doesn’t exist among law enforcement, but he acknowledged that some officers “abuse their jobs” and need to be held accountable.
“While I heard what the secretary said, we have a lot of work to do,” she said. “And systemic racism is always the ghost in the room.”
Demings, whi’s also a former Orlando Police Department chief, stated that she has found recent videos of law enforcement officers reacting to protesters “extremely troubling.” She called for legislation to back more officer oversight, training and the examination of use-of-force policies, hiring patterns and diversity within police departments.
She also said that she’ll be requesting law enforcement agencies across the country to “not wait for the federal government to have to tell you what to do.”
“You see what’s going on, you know what’s right and what’s wrong, take a critical look at yourselves, do a deep dive, and begin to change policies on your own because there are some things that we need to happen right now, like banning neck restraints, for example,” Demings said.