Judge in Derek Chauvin trial says comments may be grounds for the case to be overturned.
In a racially charged, and yes politically charged environment, Maxine Waters comments during a trip last weekend to Minnesota are drawing major criticism, including calls for her censorship.
Waters was in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and addressed the protestors demonstrating last week’s fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.
Republican Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot in 2017 during practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, accused Waters of using the kind of “dangerous rhetoric” that got him shot.
The judge in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial slammed Rep. Maxine Waters’ call for protesters to “get confrontational” if the ex-cop is cleared in the death of George Floyd on Monday — saying it could lead to the whole case “being overturned.”
So, what did Water say? The part that seems to have drawn the most criticism is a call for protestors to “stay in the streets.” and “get more confrontational” if they didn’t believe justice had been served when the trial was over.
“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” Waters, of California, told a crowd of demonstrators in Brooklyn Center on Sunday.
She went on to tell the protesters she wants a verdict that goes beyond manslaughter.
“I hope we get a verdict that says, guilty, guilty, guilty,” she said of the Chauvin trial. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to stay on the street. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Her remarks came as the city of Minneapolis braces for unrest while the jury deliberates in the case.
Scalise called for Waters condemnation.
“Where is the outrage from Dems & the media? They need to condemn this,” said Scalise.
Eric Nelson, Defense attorney for Eric Chauvin urged Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to declare a mistrial, arguing that “an elected official, US Congressperson” made statements that “I think are reasonably interpreted to be threats against the sanctity of the jury process” and had the effect of “threatening and intimidating the jury.”
Cahill denied the motion but told Nelson, “I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
“This goes back to what I’ve been saying from the beginning,” the judge fumed. “I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function.”
“I think if they want to give their opinion they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect a co-equal branch of government,” he said. “Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don’t think it’s prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury.” Tuesday’s cover of the New York Post.
Cahill added: “a Congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she didn’t believe Waters needed to apologize for the controversial comments.
“Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the civil rights movement,” Pelosi said.
“I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family,” she said. “They’ve handled this with great dignity and no ambiguity or lack of misinterpretation by the other side.”
“No, no,” Pelosi added. “I don’t think she should apologize.”