Derek Chauvin Judge Blasts Maxine Waters' Riot Calls for Causing Possible 'Mistrial'
'Waters may have handed defense grounds for appeal and the turning over of this trial'
The judge in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with killing George Floyd last year, has slammed Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) over recent calls by the congresswomen for rioting if a guilty verdict isn't reached.
During a Black Lives Matter rally in Minnesota on Saturday, Waters called on protesters to break curfew and start rioting if Chauvin is not convicted during his trial.
After the California lawmaker's shocking remarks made global headlines, Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson called for a mistrial after the jury retired on Monday.
Speaking after the jury was sent out on Monday afternoon, Nelson once again made a bid to have the case against his client thrown out on grounds that there was no way the jury could be untainted by the excessive publicity surrounding the case.
"Now that we have US representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to this trial it’s frankly mind-blowing," Nelson argued.
Taking it into consideration Judge Peter Cahill said: "I grant that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned."
Judge Cahill denied Nelson’s move for a mistrial but he said: "I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case.
"They should respect a co-equal branch of government."
He said that failure to do so was "abhorrent," but added: "I don't think it's given additional material with which to prejudice the jury.
"A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn't matter a whole lot."
Waters had joined protesters in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on Saturday night for a demonstration over the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man shot dead by a white police officer during a traffic stop on April 11.
Waters told protesters to "to get more confrontational" - just one day after protests descended into violence.
"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."
She then urged activists to ignore the curfew put in place to try and quell the violence.
"We've got to stay on the street.
"We get more active, we've got to get more confrontational.
"We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell likewise went after Waters on Monday, telling colleagues: "It's harder to imagine anything more inappropriate than a member of Congress flying in from California to inform local leaders - not so subtly - that this defendant had better be found guilty or else there will be big trouble in the streets."
The Kentucky Republican said that Waters' demand for a guilty verdict was "like somebody window-shopping or ordering off a menu."
"Every single American deserves a fair trial," McConnell said.
"This is sacred," he noted.
"You do not balance the scales of justice by trying to tip them."
The top Senate Republican noted that through much of the country's "quest for civil rights and equal justice has been the fight to get rid of extra-judicial violence, to get rid of rigged trials where the outcome was molded by public sentiment or angry mob.
"It is beyond the pale for a sitting member of the United States Congress to look at what happened last summer and imply there should be some kind of a sequel if a legal case does not unfold as she thinks it should," he said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took his criticism even further - saying that he is introducing a motion to censure Waters.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Capitol Hill reporters Monday that Waters didn't need to apologize as her comments didn't incite violence, despite calls from Republicans to have Waters punished for her remarks.
Waters defended herself on Monday by saying that Republicans were trying to "send a message to all of the white supremacists" by criticizing her call for Black Lives Matter to "get more confrontational" if Chauvin is found not guilty.
Speaking to the Grio, Waters said: "I am 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 the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys, and all of that."
She also accused Republicans of using the tactic to raise money off the Democrats' backs.
Walters said she was "not worried that they're going to continue to distort what I say."
"This is who they are and this is how they act," she added.
"And I'm not going to be bullied by them."