Truth be Told: truth testing claims against Rep. Demings

A new ad from Sen. Marco Rubio features several law enforcement officers attacking Rep. Demings
Truth be told
Posted at 2:49 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 19:52:11-04

With the November midterm elections approaching, more and more campaign ads are hitting the airwaves.

Fox 4 Investigates is launching a new series, “Truth Be Told,” to give you the facts about these ads you see on TV.

In the hotly contested race for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio is out with an ad attacking Congresswoman Val Demings’ (D-Orlando) stance on law enforcement.

The ad, which features several leading law enforcement figures from across the state, tries to portray Demings as having turned her back on law enforcement.

“Demings votes with (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) 100% of the time,” the ad claims.

That is true, according to the vote tracker Pro Publica.

Demings and Pelosi voted together 100% of the time in 2019 and 2020.

But the claim also needs some clarification because it’s missing context.

As speaker, Pelosi only votes on certain bills and did not take part in 91% of the votes during that session.

“(Demings) called abolishing the police, ‘thoughtful,’” one of the law enforcement officers says in the ad.

That claim is false.

The quote comes from a June 2020 interview with CBS This Morning, soon after George Floyd was killed in Minnesota.

Demings was asked about a proposal from the Minneapolis City Council that would have dismantled and replaced the police department with a new Public Safety Department.

That measure later failed.

“There desperately needs to be change,” Demings, a former Police Chief in Orlando, said during the interview.

“I also believe the council is being very thoughtful in terms of looking at all of the services that police provide.”

Demings never encouraged defunding the police.

“Demings said violent riots were a beautiful sight,” is the next claim made in the ad, which is also false.

The quote comes from a forum Demings took part in to discuss former President Donald Trump’s travel ban to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Demings mentioned protest taking place around the country but never condoned violence.

“What concerns me is that the strain that has been placed on local government, particularly, law enforcement, dealing with an order that is unjust and improper,” Demings said in the forum.

“As we encourage our young people to get involved, I thought it was a beautiful sight.”

Earlier in the forum, Demings specifically mentioned the protests that had taken place at the University of California, Berkeley.

While violence did break out that night, the New York Times reported the next day the protest was mostly peaceful until “a group, clad in black clothing and carrying sticks” infiltrated the crowd and cause violence.

“Maybe she used to be a cop but in Washington Val Demings is just another radical rubber stamp,” is the final line in the campaign ad.

According to the congressional tracking website, Gov Track, one-fourth of the bills Demings has sponsored in congress deal with crime and law enforcement.