Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts on Tuesday in the death of George Floyd. The jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
For days, cities nationwide, traumatized from last year’s repeated outbursts of explosive riots kicked off by the immediate two weeks after Floyd’s death, have prepared for another outbreak of domestic chaos. National Guard troops have been preemptively called into cities while businesses have boarded up.
Meanwhile, explosive unrest after a recent shooting in the nearby suburb of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, has raised the likelihood of a retrial since the jury was not sequestered. California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters inflamed tensions over the weekend before the jury went into deliberation with demands that demonstrators escalate their militant confrontation in the absence of a guilty verdict.
“We are looking for a guilty verdict,” Waters said. Anything less would warrant intensified unrest, after progressive revolutionaries held a police station under siege and smashed windows to loot businesses. “Not manslaughter. No no no, this is guilty. For murder.”
“We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” she declared, demanding protesters “get more confrontational.”
So Rep. Maxine Waters went to the unrest in Brooklyn Center last night and told people to “stay on the streets” and “get more confrontational”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 18, 2021
Hours later, two Minnesota National Guardsmen were injured in a drive-by shooting, still before lawyers offered their closing arguments.
The judge in the Chauvin trial admonished the congresswoman’s remarks as opening the door for an appeal by the defense for a retrial.
“My phone gives me alerts on things that just happened. I mean, you can’t avoid it,” Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson argued in court Monday after his repeated pleas for jury sequestration throughout the trial had gone overruled. “It is so pervasive that I just don’t know how this jury, it can really be said to be that they are free from the taint of this. And now that we have U.S. representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to the specific case is mind-boggling.”
“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in his whole trial being overturned,” Judge Peter Cahill said, demanding politicians keep opinions on the trial to themselves.
"I will give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned," says Judge Peter Cahill to Derek Chauvin's lawyer Eric Nelson pic.twitter.com/ArQX8xl7dH
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 19, 2021
On Monday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune also published personal background information on the jurors in the trial, likely contributing to the cascade of intimidation.
Tuesday afternoon, President Joe Biden ignored the judge’s plea for politicians to refrain from offering their opinions on the case and weighed in on the trial himself before the jury had finished deliberation. Biden called the evidence “overwhelming” in favor of a guilty verdict.
President Biden says he spoke to George Floyd's family and he's "praying the verdict is the right verdict" in the Chauvin trial. pic.twitter.com/gxf2bjxlK2
— The Recount (@therecount) April 20, 2021