Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., said in an interview Sunday that the Columbus police officer who fatally shot a 16-year-old last week seemed to respond the way he was trained.
Demings, who is a former police chief in Orlando, told CBS’ “Face the Nation,” that she formed her opinion with the “limited information” that she weighed after viewing bodycam footage of the incident.
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She said officers on patrol don’t have the benefit of watching a scene unfold in slow motion and are tasked with making “split-second decisions and they’re tough.”
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But she said it seems the officer in the Columbus case “responded as he was trained to do with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted.”
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Officer Nicholas Reardon fired four shots at Ma’Khia Bryant last Tuesday as she swung an apparent knife at another young woman during a scuffle.
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Reardon faced recrimination at the scene and by those who say he should have tried to de-escalate the situation, but he was commended by the national Fraternal Order of Police, which called it “an act of heroism, but one with tragic results.”