The judge presiding over the homicide trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin stated “disrespectful” statements made by Rep. Maxine Waters Saturday might give the protection grounds to appeal and overturn the trial. Attorneys for the prosecution and the protection delivered closing arguments on Monday.
Waters, D-Calif., joined protests in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 17, the place she told the press “we are looking for a guilty verdict” in Chauvin’s trial.
“If nothing (happens), then we know … we’ve got to not only stay in the streets, that we’ve got to fight for justice. That I am very hopeful, and I hope that we’re going to get a verdict that is a guilty, guilty, guilty. And if we don’t, we cannot go away,” Waters stated, in accordance to video by WCCO-TV.
Chauvin is accused of killing George Floyd, a Black man who died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for 9 minutes in May 2020.
After closing arguments, Judge Peter Cahill rejected a protection request for a mistrial based mostly partly on Waters’ remarks.
Cahill stated protesters influenced by Waters could get extra confrontational if there isn’t a responsible verdict.
“Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” Cahill informed Chauvin’s legal professional.
“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,” the judge later stated.
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Waters inspired demonstrators to “get more active,” “more confrontational” and “to make sure that they know that we mean business” if Chauvin is acquitted.
The protests adopted the shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb, by former police Officer Kim Potter final week throughout a visitors cease. She later resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
Chauvin’s trial was nonetheless ongoing.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank informed Cahill that Waters’ statements should not allowed to develop into a part of the court docket document.
“I don’t know if this particular representative made a specified threat of violence. I don’t know what the context of the statement is,” Frank stated. “I just don’t think we can muddy the record with vague allegations as to things that have happened without very specific evidence that’s being offered through the court.”
Cahill allowed the protection to complement the document with information articles about Waters’ statements.
“I’m aware the Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction and talk about being confrontational,” Cahill stated. “I think if (representatives) want to give their opinions, they should do so in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect the co-equal branch of government.”
“Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don’t think it has prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury,” he continued. “A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot.”
Pelosi defends Waters
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Waters throughout an interview with CNN’s Annie Grayer Monday. When requested if Waters wants to apologize for her comments, the speaker responded, “No, she doesn’t.”
“Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the civil rights movement. I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family,” Pelosi stated, in accordance to CNN. “They’ve handled this with great dignity and no ambiguity or lack of misinterpretation by the other side. No, no, I don’t think she should apologize.”
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Some Republicans rushed to condemn Waters’ comments. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Sunday about plans to take motion towards the congresswoman.
“Maxine Waters is inciting violence in Minneapolis — just as she has incited it in the past. If Speaker Pelosi doesn’t act against this dangerous rhetoric, I will bring action this week,” McCarthy wrote.
After the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, McCarthy stated former President Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for the violence however later took a a lot softer tone.
“I don’t believe he provoked it, if you listen to what he said at the rally,” McCarthy stated of the rally Trump held prior to the assault.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell known as Waters’ comments “beyond the pale” Monday on the House flooring.
“It’s hard to imagine anything more appropriate,” McConnell said, in accordance to CNN’s Lauren Fox. “Policymakers should focus on actually making policy.”
On Saturday, Waters told online magazine The Grio that she is nonviolent.
“[When] I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up,” Waters said about her “confrontational” remarks. “I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation.”
“I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them,” she continued.
Waters has confronted criticism previously. Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined some Republicans in rebuking Water’s 2018 statements urging activists to “push back on” members of Trump’s Cabinet who supported the household separation coverage for migrants on the U.S. southern border.