Judge Peter Cahill blasted Rep.Maxine Waters (D-CA) on Monday for her remarks Saturday that there should be unrest if the jury fails to convict Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
Cahill was responding to a motion by Chauvin’s defense lawyer, Eric Nelson, to declare a mistrial after closing arguments because of Waters’s comments. He denied the motion, but agreed that Waters’s remarks were so egregious that they created grounds for possible appeal if Chauvin is convicted of murder or manslaughter.
“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” he said, later adding:
I’m aware of the media reports, I’m aware that Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial, and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction, talked about being confrontational — but you can submit the press articles about that. 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. I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful, and in a manner that is respectful to the Constitution, to respect the co-equal branch of government. Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don’t think it has prejudiced this, with additional material that would prejudice this jury. … A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot.
Nelson complained that the jury had not been sequestered until Monday’s conclusion of arguments, and had been exposed to vociferous opinions about the trial. There was a controversy about the fact that one juror lived in nearby Brooklyn Center, where Waters had joined protests over another recent police-involved shooting, and where riots had also broken out.
Chauvin faces charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.