As the self-imposed deadline for naming a running mate nears, a potential pick by Joe Biden of Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL) could spell trouble with anti-police progressives.
Demings, a black female former Orlando police chief, is not being cut any breaks by leftists, no matter her color or gender.
“Symbolically, it’s a slap in the face to the thousands of protesters who are protesting in the state,” Vanessa Keverenge, an organizer in Orange County, Florida, told Vox regarding a potential Demings nomination.
Vox cited “critics” saying, “Demings was part of a broader culture of violence in policing that’s present in Orlando and beyond.”
“At the times that Val has had power to do things and transform the system, she’s failed to,” Stephanie Porta, an executive director of Organize Florida, told the news site.
Charlene Carruthers, an organizer in Illinois with the Movement for Black Lives, told Time, “It’s not simply enough to have someone who looks like me as the vice-presidential nominee. I’m interested in someone who shares my values and is aligned with our vision.”
Carruthers said Demings was “a leader within an institution that is inherently violent, racist, patriarchal and protective of capitalism.”
Demings was chief of police in Orlando from 2007-2011.
“Her biggest obstacle as a running mate is her police background,” Sharon Austin, a professor of political science at the University of Florida, said to CNBC. “That automatically is going to turn off a group of voters who will just never vote for a police officer. They see her as part of the establishment, part of the problem.”
The Tampa Bay Times covered a potential Demings candidacy, and the paper reported that Hillsborough County school board candidate and Bernie Sanders supporter Jessica Vaughn said “some progressives like herself are uncomfortable with Demings’ police background.”
“I don’t think it’s the right moment for Congresswoman Demings,” Jonathan Alingu, co-director of Central Florida Jobs with Justice, told WKMS.
“There are many people that you can talk to within the city that have their qualms with the police department that have never been solved,” he said. “She’s part of that legacy. That’s something she has to answer for.”
“If the argument is going to be she’s not Black, she’s blue, then God help us all,” John Morgan, a Florida-based Biden bundler and Demings supporter, told Time. “I don’t know where it ends.”
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.