Local PBS Host Calls Dallas Shooter a Martyr, Is Placed on Leave

By Kevin Eck 

Kalyn Chapman James, host of an art show on Florida PBS station WPBT, has been put on administrative leave after calling the Dallas shooter a martyr in a Facebook video.

The first black Miss Alabama, James is a contractor for the South Florida PBS station and hosts a show called Art Loft, a weekly program showcasing local artists, exhibitions, performances and art groups.

In the Facebook video, James said, “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 and I know those police officers had families and people who loved them and they didn’t deserve to die.”


Thursday night, Micah Xavier Johnson was determined to be the lone shooter in the murder of five police officers in an ambush during a protest march.

WPBT attempted to distance itself from James by tweeting out this statement.

WPBT2 South Florida PBS does not condone the personal statements made by one of its independent contractors regarding the events in Dallas.

James told Mobile NBC affiliate WPMI her words were taken out of context. “What Micah did was wrong period,” said James. “Maybe martyr wasn’t the right word but it was what came to mind at that time.”

“I apologize to anyone who was offended by my comments. My heart was not filled with hate,” she said.