Maxine Roils the Chauvin Waters
Well, this certainly is a mess, and let’s hope it doesn’t turn tragic.
the House Financial Services Committee chair, might have poisoned the
trial now reaching its conclusion in Minneapolis.
That’s the view expressed Monday by Hennepin County District Judge
who is presiding over the prosecution of Mr. Chauvin for the murder of
last May. Defense attorney
urged Judge Cahill to declare a mistrial after Ms. Waters made incendiary remarks to a crowd of protesters in Brooklyn Center near Minneapolis on the weekend.
Judge Cahill denied the request but said, “I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
The judge added that “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.” He’s right in his wish, and he could be right about an appeal depending on how the jury rules in the case.
Ms. Waters tried to rile up the crowd to protest an acquittal. “I hope we get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty,” she said. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to stay on the street. . . . We get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational.”
That also sounds like an attempt to influence the jury by suggesting that an acquittal would result in more street protests and perhaps violence. The comments are especially potent, and dangerous, in a city that endured widespread looting, violence and destruction after Floyd’s death in policy custody.
on Monday tried to soft-sell the Congresswoman’s comments as simply referring to confrontation “in the manner of the civil-rights movement.” But anyone who remembers last year’s riots, and understands the anxiety today in Minneapolis as a verdict in the trial nears, knows this is disingenuous. Ms. Waters was deliberately inciting people, at a moment of high tension, to take to the streets and get “confrontational” if the verdict isn’t one they like.
Ms. Waters’s remarks are grounds for censure by the House. And if her words become the basis for an appeal of a guilty verdict, she will be responsible if Mr. Chauvin goes free.
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