As a jury deliberates Derek Chauvin’s future, his legal team is asking for a mistrial because of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ recent comments about the case.
On April 17, Waters said of Chauvin’s trial that if the former Minneapolis police officer is not found guilty, that “we’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Chauvin defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that Waters’ comments could have prejudiced the jury and there should be a mistrial.
“We have U.S. representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to this specific case, it’s mind boggling,” Nelson said to Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill.
Cahill denied the motion for a mistrial, but did criticize Waters’ comments.
“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,” Cahill said.
“If they want to give their opinions they should do so … in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution,” Cahill continued.
That said, Cahill indicated Rep Maxine Waters’ statements might result in the trial being overturned on appeal.
Watch the clip below:
After 14 days of testimony, hearings and presentation of evidence a jury of 12 people are now deliberating the fate of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, accused in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.
Chauvin is charged with second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He is facing up to 40 years in prison.