The judge in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin blasted the incendiary comments from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and said that they could lead to the overturn of the trial if the defense chose to appeal the ruling.
Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd during an arrest on May 25 in Minneapolis. His attorney Eric Nelson argued Monday for a mistrial based on the fact that jurors were exposed to public comments because they had not been sequestered during the trial.
“It is so pervasive. I just don’t know how this jury can really be said to be that they are free from the taint of this,” Nelson said. “Now that we have U.S. representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to this specific case, it’s mind-boggling to me, judge!”
“I will give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” responded Judge Peter Cahill.
“I will give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole tri… https://t.co/6Oy4whNiTh
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Cahill did not grant the defense’s request for a mistrial, but he went on to excoriate Waters for her comments.
“This goes back to what I’ve been saying from the beginning. 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,” the judge said.
“I think if they want to give their opinions they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect a coequal branch of government,” he added.
“Their failure to do so is abhorrent!” he added.
Cahill went on to say that he did not believe the jury would be prejudiced by Waters’ comments because they had been instructed to not watch television.
“A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot. Anyway,” Cahill said.
Waters has been castigated by many for the comments she made on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, calling for more protests and telling protesters to “get more confrontational” over the trial of Chauvin.