FL Dems tack right on criminal justice due to soaring crime
In 2020, Democrats across the country were fiercely critical of police after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Progressive wing of the party pushed to defund the police, and criminal justice reform was placed at the top of the Democrats agenda.
Since then, violent crime has skyrocketed, particularly in Democrat-ran cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, which are seeing record-high murder rates.
Moderate Democrats, or at least Democrats who hold themselves out as such, have oscillated between criticizing the police and pushing for more police funding.
President Biden, for his part, accused Trump of wanting to defund the police and claimed the Black Lives Matter riots were Trump’s fault as they happened under his Presidency.
No one better epitomizes Democrats tack to the right on criminal justice than Rep Val Demings, D-Fl. who is running against Marco Rubio this November in the Florida Senate race.
Demings was the Orlando Chief of Police from 2007-2011, and has not shied away from that in her campaign for Senate.
In a campaign ad that Demings released this week, she highlighted her career in law enforcement and said that if elected, she would ‘protect’ people from bad ideas like defunding the police, which she called ‘crazy.’
I’ve finally seen @RepValDemings’s first Senate ad in Florida. It’s good!
She kneecapped the Republicans trying to link her to “Defund the Police”.
Vote For Val Demings!!
Kick Rubio out of the Senate!#VoteBlue #Fresh pic.twitter.com/jKVByCzbSJ
— ᑕᗩT 🏴☠️🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@RememberMeYeah) June 15, 2022
The issue with Democrats pro-police pivot is twofold; first, it is already angering their Progressive base that is fixated on criminal justice reform, and second, moderate voters and police themselves aren’t buying it.
In 2020, Demings was in the running to be President Biden’s Vice Presidential pick, but she came under intense scrutiny by Progressives for backing police in Orlando who were accused of excessive force.
In one instance, a police officer in Orlando slammed someone to the ground while trying to subdue them, breaking their neck. Demings defended the move, saying it fell within department guidelines. A jury disagreed and awarded the person $880,000 in damages.
It’s entirely possible that Demings was passed over for Vice President because of her controversial tenure as Orlando Chief of Police.
Police aren’t buying Demings pro-law enforcement stance either.
Demings opponent, Marco Rubio, R-Fl. has been raking in endorsements from police across Florida. Already, 55 of Florida’s 67 sheriffs backed rubio in the Senate race, along with a number of law enforcement organizations like the Florida Police Benevolent Association, which boasts a membership of 30,000 officers.
Only time will tell if Democrats 180 on criminal justice will benefit them, but right now it appears to be costing them severely with little payoff.
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