Democratic representative Maxine Waters was ‘inciting violence in Minneapolis’ after expressing support for protesters against police brutality at a rally on Saturday in Brooklyn Center, the Minneapolis suburb where Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, resisted arrest and was accidently shot instead of tazed according to the policewoman who was involved in the incident. Waters said “Well, we’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active. You got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they, that they know that we mean business.“
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill made foreboding remarks after Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, claimed that Maxine Waters’ statements might have prejudiced the Chauvin jury and represent grounds for mistrial. “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,” judge Cahill said.
Transcript of Maxine Waters Speech
This is Congresswoman Maxine Waters . . .
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: I came here from Washington D.C. I’m here from Washington D.C. because I could not sleep, I could not rest. I could not be satisfied that another young black man has been killed by police and that Daunte Wright did not deserve to be killed and so I’m here to say that I stand with you. I stand with his family. I stand with everybody who cares about justice and we cannot be still. We cannot be satisfied until we get justice for Daunte Wright. I want to thank all of you for being here every night. I want to thank you for defying the odds and putting yourself in jeopardy by being here because you cannot take what is going on any longer in this city, in this state, in this country. And so I want you to know that there are many in Congress who feel like I do and certainly, I’m not the Chair of the Black Caucus, but I know how the Black Caucus feels. I know how the Asian Caucus feels. I know how the Latin X Caucus feels. And so, I decided to come here and not make a big deal of it but just to say, I stand with you. I am not afraid. I am not intimidated. And I’m going to speak truth to power. And so, I want you to know that we all need to sustain this movement. We cannot stop, or we can not hesitate. But we must say everyday and every hour that we are going to persist that this country recognizes what is going on, because it is not only unjust and unfair, it is all right racist. The findings and seeing what is going on with our young people, with our young Black people, with our unarmed people and those who have risked their lives because of police who do not care about life. And I want you to know that I posted on Twitter, and all of my platforms, a look at what a police Glock looks like and a tazer. I don’t care that the police person, the woman resigned, I don’t care, she lied. She out right lied. And we’re not going to take it, we’re not going to accept it, and we’re going to make sure that we do everything that we can to say that we’re going to stand for justice. We’re going to fight for justice. Thank you all very much.
Reporter: What would you like to see hapen here. This has really been . . .
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: This is a very difficult time in the history of this country. Despite the fact that we know that people of color have been killed too often, unarmed young men, in particular Black men, have been killed. We know that we are now coming to the end of the George Floyd trial and that, I suppose the closing arguments are going to be made on that case coming Monday. And we’re really just almost at the beginning of what is happening with our young man, Daunte Wright, who was killed, and that we have to persist in calling for justice. We have to let people know that we’re not going to be satisfied unless we get justice in these cases. And so I just could not sleep. I could not rest. I could not be satisfied without coming here to let the family know, and the friends know, and all the people who organized for justice know that I stand with you and I’m not only going to stand with you, but continue to fight in everyway that I can to for justice for justice.
Reporter: What is your opinion about the police reform efforts that are being discussed right here. Do you think any of them have any hope of being enacted through, maybe this congress?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: Well, I am not happy that we have talked about police reform for so long and it’s not only this piece of legislation, but it’s been years, I confronted the police chief, Darrel Gates in Los Angeles years ago about the killing of Ulla Love and about the choke hold and about all of that. We’ve been fighting for so many years for reform, reform, reform, and so yes I would like to see the bill in Congress pass on police reform, but I know that that the right wing, the racists are opposed to it and I don’t know what’s going to happen to it. but I know this, we’ve got to stay in the streets and we’ve got to, we’ve got to demand justice.
Reporter: As a black man, despite all of the efforts, I feel like nothing changes and George Floyd is waking so many people up, but nothing has happened, you know, despite the rhetoric. But what needs to happen different this year than all the years before?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: Were looking for a guilty verdict. Were looking for a guilty verdict. And we’re looking to see if all this fault that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the streets, and we’ve got to fight for justice. But I am very hopeful and I hope that we’re going to get back a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty and if we don’t, we cannot go away.
Reporter: And not just man slaughter, I mean . . .
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: Oh no, not manslaughter, no, no, no, this is guilty for murder. I don’t know if it’s first degree but as far as I’m concerned it’s first degree.
Reporter: Congresswoman, what happens if we do not get what you just told us? What should the people do? What should protestors on the street do?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: I didn’t hear you?
Reporter: What should protestors do?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: Well, we’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active. You got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they, that they know that we mean business.
Reporter: What so you think about this curfew tonight?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: I don’t anything about curfews. I don’t anything about curfews. I don’t know what curfews means. If curfew means I want you all to stop talking, I want you to stop meeting, I want you to stop gathering. I don’t agree with that.
Reporter: Are you going to stay out here?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: I’m not going to stay out here. I came here for one reason, just to be here to make sure that I let my voice be heard among all of those who have been putting so much time on the street. And so I’m hopeful that the protest will continue.
Reporter: Where does police accountability come from?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: Will, I want to tell you that the mayors and the city council people, commissioners all over this country have got to reign in the police. They have their budgets, they give them overtime pay, they make sure that they have terrific benefits. They can cut all of that out. And so it is up to the local city council members, the police chief, not the police chiefs because the police chiefs are mostly intimidated by the police union. And so it is elected officials who’ve got to reign in the police.
Reporter: Congresswoman, do you support getting rid of the police, completely abolishing it. A lot of people want to abolish the police for no reason?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: Well you’ve got to make sense out of it. And what you got to say is, we’ve got to rethink what policing is. We’ve got to redesign what we really need. If you have people on the street who may have mental problems, who are compromised mentally, they don’t need a police. What they need is a physiatrist. They need social workers. They need others who deal with these issues. And so we’ve got to reimagine what policing is all about. Right now it doesn’t work.
Reporter: What’s your message to young Black people in this community that live and grow up here in Brooklyn, in Brooklyn Center?
Congresswomen Maxine Waters: My message to young Black people is this. That we know that there is a lot of unfairness in the system. We know that often times young black people are stopped, they are searched, they are not treated fairly and they stand to lose their lives. and they’ve got to know that there are people who understand this and who will stand with them and who will fight for them, who love them, and who will tell them we’re not going to stop until we get justice in this country.
Reporter: Congresswomen Maxine Waters. She’s urging protestors to stay out here, defy the curfew and be more confrontational to try to change things here in America.