Kalyn Chapman James, the African American woman who was named Miss Alabama in 1993, recently spoke out about Dallas police shooter Micah Xavier Johnson.
In a Facebook Live video posted Sunday, James broke down and called Johnson a “martyr.”
James uploaded the video and wrote, “I don’t want to feel this way…”
“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 the 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.”
James said she wasn’t surprised at what Johnson did and thinks many people feel the same.
“I am so torn up in my heart about seeing these men, these black men being gunned down in our community,” she said. “I wasn’t surprised by what the shooter did to those cops, and I think a lot of us feel the same way.”
James, a Mobile, Ala., native, currently lives in Miami.
In a statement to AL.com, James said:
My heart and my mind were conflicted because these are difficult and very emotional times for so many people. I went to church to address my feelings and deal with them from a perspective of forgiveness and love. Especially forgiving myself for feeling that way. I regret that any people lost their lives this week and I am saddened by all of the shootings that occurred. But, this is not about me. When reading about the killings of those black men, I was mortified by some of the comments about them. Many People were not conflicted at all about those deaths. Some were okay with this. These are raw wounds that are fresh and, while I apologize if I offended anyone, I cannot help the way I feel as I continue to process these events and deal with the flood of emotions that come from witnessing such atrocities – both against citizens and officers of the law. The fact that my opinion was considered newsworthy makes me feel like speaking up was exactly what I should do, because I can voice what so many people are feeling and dealing with and they should know they are not alone. I reiterate that I do not condone violence or killing at all. I offer my deepest condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones this week, including the officers in Dallas.
James later apologized for calling Johnson a “marytr” and told WPMI she received many threats after posting the video.
“What Micah did was wrong, period,” James told WPMI. “Maybe martyr wasn’t the right word, but it was what came to mind at that time.”
Johnson killed five Dallas police officers and wounded seven others Thursday night.