Judge in Derek Chauvin trial says Maxine Waters’ comments could lead to whole case ‘being overturned’

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The lawyer for ex-cop Derek Chauvin on Monday urged the judge to declare a mistrial over inflammatory comments made by Rep. Maxine Waters — and even the judge agreed the congresswoman’s remarks could “result in this whole trial being overturned.”

Defense attorney Eric Nelson told Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill that “an elected official, US Congressperson” made statements that “I think are reasonably interpreted to be threats against the sanctity of the jury process” and had the effect of “threatening and intimidating the jury.”

Cahill denied the motion but told Nelson, “I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

The exchange came as the judge turned the case over to the jury, which began deliberating on murder and manslaughter charges in George Floyd’s May 25 death.

Waters has drawn criticism for telling protesters demonstrating last week’s fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in neighboring Brooklyn Center should “stay in the streets” — and “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is not found guilty.

“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” Waters, of California, told a crowd of demonstrators in Brooklyn Center on Sunday.

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” she said of the Chauvin case. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away, we’ve got to get more confrontational.”

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