Former Miss Alabama Kalyn Chapman James says she can't help but feel like Dallas shooting suspect Micah Xavier Johnson was a "martyr" following the police involved shootings of black men in cities across the country. "I’m dealing with a bit of guilt because .. because I don’t feel sad for the officers that lost their lives," said James, the first African American to hold the Miss Alabama title.
"I want to feel sad for them but I can’t help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr," James said during a tearful, anguished Facebook Live video, titled "I don't want to feel this way," that's been viewed more than 300,000 times. "And I know it’s not the right way to feel because nobody deserves to lose their lives. I know those police officers had families and people who loved them and that they didn’t deserve to die."
At several points during the video, which James posted after church, her voice quakes with emotion.
"I’m so torn up in my heart about seeing these black men being gunned down in our community that I can’t help but feel like I wasn’t surprised by what the shooter did to those cops and I think a lot of us feel the same way," she said. "I know it’s not right and I definitely don’t condone violence."
She concludes with, "I’m sick of this. I’m sad and I’m hurt. Something has to be done, period. It’s a lot to deal with."
She was crowned in 1993 and now lives in Florida.
Dallas Police Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Officers Michael Krol and Patrick Zamarripa and Sgt. Michael Smith and Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson were shot to death Thursday at the end of a protest march in downtown Dallas. Johnson was killed by a robot-delivered bomb after negotiations failed.
“He wanted to kill officers,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said during a news conference. “The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. He expressed anger for Black Lives Matter.”
But the suspect acted alone and was not affiliated with any groups, Brown added.
“All I know is this must stop,” Brown said. “This divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”