From greater oversight to complete abolition, Democrats have offered a broad array of proposals to reduce racist police violence and increase accountability for police who kill citizens. Republicans have characterized these calls for reform as a universal platform to supposedly defund police officers, though police budgets are allocated at the municipal level, not the federal level.
Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida—who's currently running in the Sunshine State to unseat Republican Marco in the Senate—served in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, including as chief of the Orlando Police Department.
In recent comments to reporters, Demings blasted the current crime rate and called for greater investments in law enforcement, saying:
"We must invest in our police departments. Public safety is the foundation on which we build great communities."
Expanding police funding doesn't necessarily reduce crime, which is why many progressives have proposed instead funding public goods such as housing and medicare for all to reduce economic hardships that motivate others to commit crimes like theft.
In response to Demings' recent comments, Rubio's campaign accused her of taking a "sudden interest" in reducing crime while making officers' jobs harder.
.@MarcoRubio on Val Demings’ sudden interest in combating the rise in violent crime:
"Ever since arriving in Washington, Val Demings has made it harder for police to do their jobs while enabling violent criminals...
— Team Marco (@TeamMarco) February 9, 2022
Demings was having none of it, and soon responded with a reminder to Rubio of her record.
27 years of putting on a bulletproof vest to go to work as a law enforcement officer is not a "sudden interest" in combating violent crime. I reduced violent crime by 40% as Orlando's Chief of Police while Marco Rubio was home asleep in his bed. https://t.co/H48ovDgvMD
— Val Demings (@valdemings) February 9, 2022
Demings noted that she donned a bulletproof vest for 27 years and that Orlando's crime rate was reduced by 40 percent while she was its chief, all "while Marco Rubio was home asleep in his bed."
The Congresswoman's unrelenting response garnered praise and agreement on social media.
Get his ass Val!!! https://t.co/bqxlXv7nCL
— Chuck Todd's shamble bangs (@Drea_got_rage) February 9, 2022
Drag. Him! https://t.co/Xs0EZKeh8p
— Portia Vaxxed and Boosted McGonagal (@PortiaMcGonagal) February 10, 2022
I am a big fan of Ms. Demings..Been one for a long time..This tweet is exactly why. https://t.co/vRfvd2j3sv
— Sailor Michael⚓✈ (@Megawatts55) February 9, 2022
Yes, hello, I've just witnessed a murder https://t.co/5jPlEj1EJG
— Greg Howard Jr (@ThatPodcastGuy1) February 10, 2022
This is how you respond to @marcorubio. Florida needs @RepValDemings as our Senator. https://t.co/Nwj7p7ADcB
— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) February 10, 2022
They joined her in blasting the Rubio campaign's characterization.
Val Demings was a police officer for almost 30 years and cut violent crime 40% as chief of her city's dept.
Marco Rubio is a pathetic nattering yes-man who blows like a tube sock in the wind and parrots Trump-approved talking points.
Which one has really helped Florida? #FlaPol https://t.co/TcMenUc1Z3
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) February 9, 2022
When @marcorubio was a lobbyist and State Rep - yes, you can be both in Florida - @valdemings was a cop working a beat. So ask yourself: do we need more lobbyist in US Senate or more police officers? https://t.co/6BcWz8uGD4
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) February 10, 2022
She was literally Chief of Police in Orlando, bro. https://t.co/7aNZlZKwKx
— Matt Lane (@MattLaneWrites) February 10, 2022
The 2022 election cycle is just heating up.