Outrageous TV Host, Former Miss Alabama Calls Dallas Cop Killer a 'Martyr'
UPDATE: James was grilled on her incendiary remarks by Sean Hannity Tuesday night. Watch the interview, here.
A woman who became the first black Miss Alabama triggered a fierce backlash by expressing mixed emotions about the attack that killed five police officers in Dallas.
Kalyn Chapman James, who was crowned Miss Alabama in 1993, recorded an emotional video message (above) Sunday morning after leaving church, calling the attacker a "martyr."
In the status message, James, a model and Miami TV host, wrote: "I don't want to feel this way..."
James said she was wrestling with feelings of guilt for viewing the shooter, Micah Johnson, as a "martyr."
Police said Johnson opened fire on officers Thursday night because he was upset over police shootings of black men and was trying to kill as many white cops as he could.
"I don’t feel sad for the officers that lost their lives and I know that that’s really not my heart. I value — I value human life. And I want to feel sad for them, but I can’t help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr, and I know it’s not the right way to feel because nobody deserves to lose their lives," she said, recognizing that the officers had families and "didn't deserve to die."
James emphasized that she does not condone violence against innocent people and asked others to share their opinions.
"I'm sick of this and something has to be done, period. I don't know what else to say. It's a lot to deal with and I know I'm not the only one feeling this way," she said through tears.
The Miami news station where James now works, WPBT2, released a statement, saying it does not condone the remarks and that she is on administrative leave.
WPBT2's statement regarding comments made by one of its contractors surrounding the tragic events in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/WCDvVq0eOi
— WPBT2 (@WPBT2) July 11, 2016
James hosts a show called "Art Loft" on the station.
James later apologized and said that "martyr" was not the right word to use.
"I apologize to anyone who was offended by my comments my heart was not filled with hate," she said, explaining that the wife of one of the slain Dallas officers contacted her to say she "understood what I was saying and that she forgave me."
James, who finished in the top 10 at the 1994 Miss America pageant, said she also received threats from people who argued that police officers shouldn't protect her.