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Thursday
Jul142016

Former Miss Alabama admits she shouldn't have called Dallas gunman 'A Martyr'

Inside Edition

The first black woman crowned Miss Alabama is standing by a controversial video in which she called the Dallas gunman a "martyr," but admits it was a poor choice of words.

Speaking to Inside Edition Tuesday, Kalyn Chapman James said she was emotional while recording the video, which made her the target of national backlash.

"I do wish that I hadn't used [that word] in my video," she said.

She explained, "I only used the word in the context of a person who feels like they're dying for something they believe in. What he did was wrong... He is not a hero. I feel like that's what he thought he was. But no, he's not a hero to me. I don't condone what he did."

Still, her video will remain online, she said.

"As long as people know that that video is just an expression of my sadness and anger and hurt, and that it is not a call to incite more violence, then I’m fine with the video being there," she said.

James immediately felt public ire for her description of gunman Micah Johnson as commenters assailed her for her lack of empathy in the wake of five tragic deaths.

"People are calling me a terrorist and calling me a racist," she said.

Others have reached out to her to say they understand, she added.

"I'm not a racist," she said. "I feel that people regardless of their race, they should feel safe in the streets."

In the two-minute video, James said she felt a need to speak out because she was feeling "conflicted" about her inability to feel sad for the officers following the shootings of two black men by cops.

"I don't want to feel this way," she said in the video. "I don't feel sad for the officers who lost their lives.

RELATED: Alton Sterling's son pleads for unity

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