Kalyn Chapman James, the first black Miss Alabama and a presenter on WPBT2 in Florida, was placed on paid administrative leave after a video in which she expressed her opinion on the police shootings in Dallas went viral.
More than 600,000 people watched as James called gunman Micah Xavier Johnson a martyr Sunday on Facebook Live.
“I am dealing with a bit of guilt because I don’t feel sad for the officers that lost their lives and I know that’s not really my heart,” James said in her original video.
“I can’t help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr,” she said. “And I know it’s not the right way to feel because nobody deserves to lose their lives, and I know those police officers had families.”
After receiving intense criticism for her categorization of a man who killed five police officers and wounded seven others, James tried to backtrack on her original statement.
“I reiterate that I do not condone violence or killing at all,” she later told AL.com.
“I offer my deepest condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones this week, including the officers in Dallas.”
In its criticism of the video, WPBT2 categorized James as a contractor.
“We do not condone any suggestion that terrorism is acceptable or that it should be tolerated,” the station said.
“WPBT2 South Florida PBS does not condone the personal statements made by one of its independent contractors regarding the events in Dallas.”
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.