Rep. Valdez (Val) Demings (D-FL) is taking some heat over comments she made on her Facebook page earlier this month.
It all started when Demings shared a few photos on her official page along with the following statement:
Proud to stand with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Americans For Responsible Solutions, The Brady Campaign and my distinguished colleagues in this fight for common sense gun legislation.
We stand AGAINST the gun lobby, and WITH victims of gun violence everywhere.
Sadly for Demings, at least one person remembered a little bit about her history before she went to Washington, D.C.
Demings, former Orlando Police Chief, received an official censure for “failure to secure” her department-issued handgun back in April 2009. The Orlando Sentinel had the story:
An internal-affairs investigator gave Orlando Police Chief Val Demings a “written censure” as punishment for not properly securing her gun in her car.
Someone broke into Demings' Chevy Tahoe the night of Feb. 27 and stole a duffel bag she had placed on the floor of the vehicle. The bag contained her agency-issued 9 mm Sig Sauer gun, ammunition, handcuffs and baton.
“Although the vehicle's remote was used to lock the vehicle, the doors were not physically [checked] to ensure the locks [had] engaged,” internal-affairs manager Dwain L. Rivers wrote in the four-page report. “Chief Demings accepts full responsibility and does not wish to contest the sustained finding.”
Demings notified internal affairs and her supervisor, Mayor Buddy Dyer, after she had reported the weapon stolen, spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones said.
That situation was referenced in one of the comments Demings received on Facebook in response to her recent anti-gun post:
From that point on, the conversation was no longer about gun safety or regulations — or even about Deming's history with the police department — but about her claim that her “First Amendment right is different” from someone else's:
But this was not the first time that Demings had a First Amendment-related issue, either. Back in 2009, following the vehicle theft incident that led to her censure, Demings threatened to sue the creator of a website that was critical of her:
The Digital Media Law Project reported:
Demings is threatening to sue an Orlando resident for creating a website that criticizes her performance in office.
Valdemings.com is run by Ezell “Easy” Harris, a frequent critic of Demings', and contains a disclaimer stating the chief has no association with the site.
Demings' attorney, Griffith J. Winthrop III, accuses Harris in an April 17 letter of “maligning” and defaming the chief. The letter also says Harris violated the law by using her “persona” and identity and claims Harris' behavior is “malicious.”
Demings is demanding that the Web site be taken down and threatens to sue Harris if he refuses.
Harris refused to take down the site - correctly claiming that he is “simply exercising his First Amendment rights.”
However, Winthrop (Demings attorney) says that Harris is portraying Demings in a “false light.” Winthrop would not elaborate on Demings' claims or the logic behind them. He said he prefers to argue the matter in court.
Demings did not respond or clarify what she meant, nor did she explain how her First Amendment right pertained to a discussion about restricting the Second Amendment rights of her constituents.
Caroline Rowland a spokesperson for Rep. Demings, told the Daily Wire that Demings had nothing further to add: “No, she will have no comment on that. Thank you.”