Kalyn James, a former Miss Alabama champion, has created quite a stir on the Internet.
During a Facebook Live chat on Sunday, the ex-beauty queen addressed the topic of last week’s tragic shooting in Dallas, during which five police officers were killed at a Black Lives Matter protest.
The shooter has been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson… and James says in the video below that she actually sympathizes with the terrorist.
She knows she shouldn’t.
“I’m dealing with a bit of guilt because I don’t feel sad for the officers that lost their lives,” she says.
“I know that that’s really not my heart. 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.”
James, who now works as a television host, went on to say that she “wasn’t surprised” by the cops’ murders because she, too, was upset and frustrated by the recent deaths of black men by police.
Both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were controversially shot to death by officers a few days before Johnson’s heinous actions.
“I know it’s not the right way to feel, because nobody deserves to lose their lives. I know that those police officers had families and people who loved them and that they didn’t deserve to die,” she said of officers Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa and Brent Thompson.
“But I’m so torn up in my heart about seeing these men, these black men, being gunned down in our community …
"I wasn’t surprised by what the shooter did to those cops and I think a lot of us feel the same way and I know that it’s not right … I definitely don’t condone violence against innocent people."
Except… she just referred to Johnson as a "martyr."
Safe to say this was one of those times when she should have just kept her mouth shut.
James has received significant backlash since making this video.
She has since offered an apology to WPMI, saying she “apologize[s] to anyone who was offended by my comments – my heart was not filled with hate.”
Nevertheless, Miami TV station WPBT2 has James her on leave for her controversial comments.
You can’t exactly express any sort of sympathy for a mass murderer and expect to keep your job as a public figure.
We do not condone any suggestion that terrorism is acceptable or that it should be tolerated,” WPBT2 said in a statement on Twitter.
"WPBT2 South Florida PBS does not condone the personal statements made by one of its independent contractors regarding the events in Dallas.
"It placed the contractor on administrative leave while it actively and carefully looks further into the matter and will determine additional course of actions based on its thorough review of the matter."