Politics 'Confrontational': Maxine Waters undeterred by Marjorie Taylor Greene criticism of Chauvin trial remarks
EXPLAINER: Judge lets jury decide Floyd's remark about drugs
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The judge overseeing the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in the death of George Floyd said Monday that he'll leave it up to the jury to sort out whether Floyd yelled “I ate too many drugs” or “I ain’t do no drugs” as three officers pinned him to the ground. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill made the ruling as attorneys argued over whether to allow the testimony of a use-of-force expert for the prosecution, Seth Stoughton, a professor at the University of South Carolina Law School. Prosecutors wanted him to testify from an academic perspective on whether Chauvin used reasonable force and about national policing standards.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Maxine Waters if facing a torrent to Republican criticism, again — but don't expect her to back down any time soon.
The California Democratic congresswoman has long been a lightning rod and her comments over the weekend urgingto “get more confrontational” if former police officer is acquitted in has prompted calls for her removal from Congress.
It's unlikely to work. Democrats, who control Congress, can block any GOP action against Waters.
“No, I don't think she should apologize,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Monday. “Maxine talked about 'confrontation' in the manner of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Defense set to take turn in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defense for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death was set to start presenting its case Tuesday, following 11 days of a prosecution narrative that combined wrenching video with clinical analysis by medical and use-of-force experts to condemn Derek Chauvin's actions. Prosecutors called their final witnesses Monday, leaving only some administrative matters before they were expected to rest Tuesday. Once the defense takes over, Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is expected to have his own experts testify that it was Floyd's drug use and bad heart, not Chauvin's actions, that killed him.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthyWaters of “inciting violence” and said if the Democratic majority in the House doesn’t do anything to censure her, “I will bring action this week.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who herself has been the subject of calls to be removed from Congress, introduced a resolution tofrom the House. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., called for Waters should to be ” and other GOP lawmakers called for a “ ” to “ .”
"Rep. Waters is a danger to our society," Greene, who was accused of helping encourage a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, said in a statement.
Waters responded to Greene's criticism by calling it a distortion of her remarks.
EXPLAINER: Ex-officer on trial for Floyd death won't testify
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death said Thursday that he won't testify in his own defense, invoking his right to remain silent and leave the burden of proof on the state. It was a high-stakes decision. Taking the stand could have helped humanize Derek Chauvin to jurors who haven't heard from him directly at trial, but it could also have opened him up to a devastating cross-examination.
"I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say," Waters. "This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them.”
Waters appeared at a racial justice protest Saturday night in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a town miles from where Chauvin's trial is taking place and which has been roiled by protests after a police officer killed 20-year-oldlast week.
"We've got to stay on the street and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational,” Waters told reporters when asked what would happen if the Chauvin trial, which is wrapping up this week, ends in acquittal. “We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business."
Conservatives saw her comments as an encouragement for more violence and rioting. Waters allies say Republicans are trying to distract from right-wing violence, like the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, by picking another fight with one of their go-to targets.
Attorneys at Chauvin trial in Floyd death make final pitch
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd are set to make their closing arguments Monday, each side seeking to distill three weeks of testimony to persuade jurors to deliver their view of the right verdict. For prosecutors, Derek Chauvin recklessly squeezed the life from Floyd as he and two other officers pinned him to the street for 9 minutes, 29 seconds outside a corner market, despite Floyd's repeated cries that he couldn't breathe — actions they say warrant conviction not just for manslaughter but also on two murder counts.
“What she said is nothing new. She has always said the same kind of thing. She has always stood up for the downtrodden,” said Rev. Jewett Walker, a politically connected African-American pastor in Los Angeles who has worked with Waters for years. “There are people who do not like that.”
In 1992, a year after Waters was first elected to Congress, her South-Central Los Angeles district exploded after the acquittal of the white police officers who beat black motorist Rodney King. While other politicians denounced the riots, Waters questioned whether it should even be called a riot.
“If you call it a riot, it sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason,” Waters said at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I maintain it was somewhat understandable, if not acceptable. So I call it a rebellion.”
Republicans have long used Waters as a boogeyman to fundraise and excite their base — and as a wedge to try to convince moderate swing voters not to support other Democratic candidates in battleground districts.
The charges against Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, explained
What was going through Derek Chauvin's mind when he kneeled on a handcuffed, proned George Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds last May? That key question is at the heart of the charges against him.That key question is at the heart of the three charges against the former Minneapolis Police officer and will be top of mind for jurors when their deliberations begin. To render a verdict, they'll also have to interpret Minneapolis Police policies, Floyd's cause of death, and the specific language of the law.
Now in her 15th term in Congress, Waters herself has never faced much of a political threat in her overwhelmingly Democratic district, where she regularly wins re-election with over 70 percent of the vote.
“For decades, Congresswoman Waters has been one of the most outspoken women leading the fight for justice,” said Aimee Allison, who founded the group She the People, which works to advance women of color in politics. “She will not be deterred, and neither will Americans who are demanding more accountability from our criminal justice system.”
She’s such a lightning rod, though, that her Republican challenger last year, Navy veteran Joe Collins, raised a whopping $10.6 million and he went on to outspend Waters more than five-to-one, according to campaign finance reports. Even though Collins lost that bid 72-28 percent, he has already raised more than $500,000 for a re-match in 2022.
"Maxine Waters is a complete disgrace to the United States and to South L.A.," Collins said on Fox News Monday in an appearance likely to garner even more donations.
Collins called on Congress to remove Waters from office by invoking a clause in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that disqualifies federal officeholders who have “engaged in insurrection."
It's the same clause that liberals wanted to use to prohibit Trump from running for office again after the Capitol riot and to— an effort Waters supported.
Republican attacks on Maxine Waters prove the GOP is committed to a politics of white whining
Kevin McCarthy denies the GOP is racist only to disprove himself by blasting Maxine Waters with bad faith umbrage Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Maxine Waters and Kevin McCarthy Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images
On MSNBC Sunday, Waters defended her rhetoric. "I wanted to be there, kind of as ‘Auntie Maxine’ to show them that not only do I love them and I support them, but they can count on me to be with them at this terrible time in all of our lives," she said of her trip to Minnesota.
“Auntie Maxine” is the moniker the 82-year-old lawmaker embraced when she became an early hero to younger progressives opposed to former President Donald Trump.
She was one of the first Democrats to, frequently accused Trump of being controlled by Russians (the featured post on her Twitter account is still a with the hashtag “#KremLINKlan”), and she .
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome,” she. Her remarks came after criticism of incidents of Trump officials being antagonized in restaurants.
That earned her a spot near the top of Trump enemy's list, as the former president frequently railed against the “extraordinarily low IQ person” in tweets and rally speeches, where audiences loved to boo the congresswoman with whom they were already very familiar from conservative media.
Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man sentenced to 20 years in prison for, sent one to Waters and her office has repeatedly been .
Just last week, she earned blowback from conservatives and applause from the left for telling Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a staunch Trump ally, to “” during a committee hearing with Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor.
DOJ weighs charging Chauvin for 2017 incident involving Black teen: Source .
Federal investigators probing Derek Chauvin's use of force against George Floyd are also weighing charging him for a 2017 incident involving a Black teen, a source said. The videos, from Sept. 4, 2017, allegedly showed Chauvin striking a Black teenager in the head so hard that the boy needed stitches, then allegedly holding the boy down with his knee for nearly 17 minutes, and allegedly ignoring complaints from the boy that he couldn't breathe.