The judge overseeing Derek Chauvin’s trial for murder on Monday blasted “abhorrent” Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for comments over the weekend urging protesters to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is not convicted for George Floyd’s death and said her words could be grounds for the defense to appeal a verdict.
Chauvin’s lawyer asked the judge, Peter Cahill, to declare a mistrial over Waters’ comments, arguing she had prejudiced the trial, but Cahill denied the request.
"I'll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned," Cahill said as arguments in the case concluded and the jury began deliberations.
Waters, D-Calif., over the weekend told reporters that protesters needed to “stay on the street” demanding justice until there is genuine police reform. She also said if Chauvin is not found guilty, "we've got to stay on the street, and we've got to get more active. We've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
The congresswoman also vowed to “fight with all of the people who stand for justice," adding, "We’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue."
Republicans slammed Waters for her statements.
"Maxine Waters is inciting violence in Minneapolis — just as she has incited it in the past," tweeted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican. "If Speaker Pelosi doesn't act against this dangerous rhetoric, I will bring action this week."
"Telling rioters who have burned buildings, looted stores and assaulted journalists to get 'more confrontational' is incredibly irresponsible. Every House Democrat should condemn Maxine Waters' call for violence," National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg told Fox News.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., announced a resolution calling for Waters’ expulsion from Congress, tweeting on Sunday that, "as a sitting United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters threatened a jury demanding a guilty verdict and threatened violence if Chauvin is found not guilty. This is also an abuse of power."
She also wrote on Twitter that "After traveling across state lines to incite riots, her orders recorded on video last night at the Brooklyn Center, directly led to more violence and a drive-by shooting on National Guardsmen in Minnesota early this morning.”
Waters defended herself in an interview with theGrio, saying she is “nonviolent.”
“Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent … any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that, how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats] backs,” Waters added.
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