Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
Marjorie Taylor Greene Introduces Legislation to Expel Maxine Waters from Congress over These Remarks (Full Video)
Congresswoman Maxine Waters may have handed Derek Chauvin's defense grounds for appeal and the turning over of any guilty verdict.
Speaking after the jury was sent out on Monday afternoon, Chauvin's attorney Eric 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 said.
Taking it into consideration Judge Peter Cahill said: 'I grant you Congresswoman Waters may have handed you grounds for appeal and the turning over of this trial.'
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 mean much.'
Waters (D - California) 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 the protesters that she will fight for justice on their behalf and urged them 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. 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.'
Derek Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson called for a mistrial after the jury retired on Monday, citing comments California Congresswoman Maxine Waters (left) made about the case during a protest on Saturday. Judge Peter Cahill (right) condemned Waters' remarks as 'abhorrent' before stating that he would not declare a mistrial
Derek Chauvin is pictured in court on Monday as his attorney unsuccessfully lobbied for a mistrial
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. This is sacred. You do not balance the scales of justice by trying to tip them,' McConnell said.
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.
And White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to condemn Waters' comments, telling reporters: 'Well, I can speak to the president's view. He has been very clear that he recognizes the issue of police violence against people of color, communities of color is one of great anguish and it's exhausting and quite emotional at times.'
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 bulled by them.'
Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson called for a mistrial on Monday afternoon and cited Rep Maxine Waters' remarks over the weekend that Black Lives Matter Protesters should 'get more confrontational' if the ex-cop is found not guilty.
'I hope we get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty,' Waters said of the Chauvin trial. '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. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business.'
Nelson said the comments had the effect of 'threatening and intimidating the jury'.
Judge Peter Cahill replied by saying: 'I grant you Congresswoman Waters may have handed you grounds for appeal and the turning over of this trial.
'I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case. They should respect a co-equal branch of government.'
The judge 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 mean much.' ahill's condemnation of Waters' comments came after the state of Minnesota concluded its murder case against Chauvin on Monday by telling the jury: 'The reason George Floyd is dead is because Mr Chauvin's heart was too small.'
The jury was then dismissed for deliberation, where they will consider three charges against Chauvin: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
After the jury stepped out Nelson called for a mistrial over prosecutor Jerry Blackwell's characterization of the defense's case as 'nonsense' and a 'story' - as well as the possibility that media attention could bias the jury.
Judge Cahill said he was not making any findings as to whether Blackwell's comments constituted prosecutorial misconduct that could result in a mistrial but said that he had dealt with all of Nelson's specific objections as he had made them.
As for the media attention, Cahill said he is hopeful that the jurors have heeded his warning against looking at any news coverage of the case before officially denying the mistrial motion.
Outside the court more than 2,000 National Guard members and 1,100 law enforcement officials stood watch over Minneapolis as the city braces for potential unrest over the verdict.
In his closing statement, Nelson insisted that Chauvin acted as any reasonable officer would when he pinned Floyd to the pavement while underlining the handcuffed black man's 'active resistance' to arrest.
Nelson urged the jury to examine all of the evidence presented over three weeks of testimony and come to the conclusion that the state did not meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Floyd's death was a direct result of Chauvin's actions on May 25, 2020.
'This was an authorized use of force - as unattractive as that may be,' Nelson said, noting that none of the state's use-of-force experts or police officials could agree on a specific point where Chauvin's actions became unreasonable.
He also emphasized the 'hostile' reactions of the crowd that gathered to watch Floyd's arrest and yelled out for the officers to get off of him - asserting that the chaos was distracting for Chauvin.
Nelson dragged out his at times rambling closing for more than two hours before Judge Peter Cahill interrupted him and called for a lunch break at 2.10pm local time.
When he returned to conclude his statement, Nelson ripped into prosecutors for discounting Floyd's underlying health issues and drug use when arguing that Floyd's primary cause of death was asphyxia during Chauvin's restraint.
'When you take into consideration the presumption of innocence and proof beyond a reason doubt. I would submit to you that it is nonsense to suggest that none of these other factors had any role. That is not reasonable,' Nelson said.
'When you conclude your analysis of the evidence, the entirety of the evidence, when you review the law as written, all within a thorough honest analysis, the state has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. And therefore Mr Chauvin should be found not guilty of all counts.'
Defense attorney Eric Nelson is seen delivering his closing statement on Monday, where he urged the jury to examine all of the evidence presented over three weeks of testimony and come to the conclusion that the state did not meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Floyd's death was a direct result of Chauvin's actions on May 25, 2020
Nelson underlined Floyd's active resistance to arrest by playing footage from Chauvin's body camera for the jury
Maxine Waters speaks to reporters at a protest in Brooklyn Center, Minn. on Saturday, Apr. 17, 2021
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Q’Anon conspiracy theorist who tried and failed to launch a Trump-inspired America First Caucus last week, has introduced legislation aiming to oust fellow Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters from Congres
Greene made the announcement Sunday after hearing the California congresswoman speak to protesters at a demonstration in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Saturday. Protests broke out in the city last week after police fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on April 11.
Asked about the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd, Waters told reporters that 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.”
Watch Waters’ full comments below, beginning at eh 6 min. 43 sec. mark.
Greene on Sunday claimed that Waters’ comments “led to more violence and a drive by shooting on National Guardsmen in Minnesota early this morning.”
Two guardsman were injured early Sunday morning when a gunman fired at a Minnesota National Guard and Minneapolis Police Department neighborhood security team, the Minnesota National Guard said. However, National Guard officials did not provide any information on who fired the shots or if they were linked to Waters’ comments.
Greene’s statement on Sunday said she will “be introducing a resolution to expel Rep. Maxine Waters from Congress for her continual incitement of violence.”
Meanwhile, Greene was forced to abandon her attempt to launch a group called the America First Caucus after facing wide-ranging public condemnation over racism in the group’s prospective tenets, including from lawmakers in her own party. Among planning document associated with the group expressed support for what it called a “common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions,” and the same material also included a claim that “mass immigration” threatens “the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture and a unique identity.”