On Sunday, the first black Miss Alabama posted a video on Facebook saying that she thinks the Dallas shooter, Michah Johnson “was a martyr.” Since her video, she has been placed on administrative leave from her job.
Kalyn Chapman James has been placed on administrative leave from her job where she worked as an independent contractor South Florida PBS station WPBT2 after posting a video online calling the Dallas shooter a “martyr.”
“I’m dealing with a bit of guilt, because I don’t feel sad for the officers that lost their lives, and I know that that’s really not my heart,” James said.
“And I want to feel sad for them, but I can’t help feeling like the shooter was a martyr and I know it’s not the right way to feel,” James added. “I don’t condone violence, but I’m sick of this, and I’m sad and I’m hurt.”
She says she is torn up over black men being killed in her community, but “can’t help but feel like I wasn’t surprised what the shooter did to those cops,” James said. “And I think a lot of us feel the same way.”
James posted the video on Sunday saying she had just gotten out of church and was praying for the men who died in the recent fatal police shootings of two black men.
James was named Miss Alabama in 1993 and finished in the top 10 at 1994’s Miss America competition.
WPBT2 released an official statement saying that they placed an independent contractor on administrative leave, not mentioning James’ name.
Following the video, James released a statement to AL.com.
“My heart and my mind were conflicted because these are difficult and very emotional times for so many people. I went to church to address my feelings and deal with them from a perspective of forgiveness and love. Especially forgiving myself for feeling that way. I regret that any people lost their lives this week and I am saddened by all of the shootings that occurred. But, this is not about me. When reading about the killings of those black men, I was mortified by some of the comments about them. Many People were not conflicted at all about those deaths. Some were okay with this. These are raw wounds that are fresh and, while I apologize if I offended anyone, I cannot help the way I feel as I continue to process these events and deal with the flood of emotions that come from witnessing such atrocities – both against citizens and officers of the law. The fact that my opinion was considered newsworthy makes me feel like speaking up was exactly what I should do, because I can voice what so many people are feeling and dealing with and they should know they are not alone. I reiterate that I do not condone violence or killing at all. I offer my deepest condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones this week, including the officers in Dallas.”