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Val Demings on Racism: 'You Can Be a Racist' but Not in Law Enforcement

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Rep. Val Demings (D-Fl.), is insisting people who are racist should deeply consider their professional paths before deciding on long-term careers in law enforcement — and multiple other fields, for that matter.

During an appearance on “The View” Monday, the former Florida police chief, who has more than 27 years of law enforcement experience, insisted you cannot be racist and hold positions that require fairness and unbiased opinion.

Not only did she stress that racism cannot exist in law enforcement, Demings — a veteran law enforcement official and a potential vice presidential contender for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — also argued that it cannot exist in education, housing, or decisions that determine fair employment and wages.

“You can be a racist if you want to. You just shouldn’t be in the police department. You shouldn’t be an educator. You shouldn’t decide who gets housing. You shouldn’t decide who gets jobs and wages,” Demings said.

See Demings’ remarks below:

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Demings also noted the importance of reform, policy changes, and police departments reflecting the diversity of residents in the communities they serve.

“We need to hire diversity,” Demings said, later adding, “We need to look at who is training officers. Remember the training officer is the person who sets the standard for what’s acceptable and unacceptable on the street.”

She continued, “We also need to continue to build trust with the community which means police need to have regular contact with the communities in which they serve.”

Demings also encouraged local communities to start “looking within” and consider changing the policies they have the power to change now.

Demings’ appearance on “The View” follows the release of USA Today’s 2019 internal investigation into police misconduct within law enforcement agencies. The publication revealed that more than 85,000 officers have been investigated for misconduct over the last decade.

The report, which consists of more than 200,000 alleged incidents of misconduct, revealed: “Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk, and abused their spouses,” as USA Today reports.

Many of the records had been obtained by state agencies, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies had been “filed away” and “rarely seen by anyone outside their departments,” the publication notes.

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