Maxine Waters’ comments could lead to Chauvin trial overturned on appeal, judge says

Judge Peter Cahill said that Waters’ comments were “disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

As jurors deliberate on whether to convict former police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, the judge in the case has said he believes the entire trial may be thrown out at a later date.

After Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told local media that protesters should refuse to accept the verdict if Chauvin is found not guilty, Chauvin’s attorneys asked Judge Peter Cahill to declare a mistrial.

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” Waters said after jetting from California to Brooklyn Center, Minnesota to visit protesters. “We have got to fight for justice… I’m very hopeful we’ll get a verdict that says ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ but if we don’t, we cannot go away.

“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.”

While Cahill denied the motion to declare a mistrial, he acknowledged that Waters’ comments could potentially result in a judge ruling to grant Chauvin a new trial in the future.

“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” Cahill said.

He added that he believed Waters’ comments were “disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch,” and that elected officials should not comment on the potential outcome of the trial.

“Their failure to [remain neutral], I think, is abhorrent,” he said. “But I don’t think it has prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury. They have been told not to watch the news. I trust they are following those instructions.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis and its surrounding counties for fear of riots after the verdict is announced. Local news outlets reported Walz is bringing in police backup from Ohio and Nebraska.

“We can’t live like this,” Walz said during a news conference. “We simply can’t. But we can’t have thousands of businesses burned and people put at risk.”