As most people are aware at this point, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder Tuesday in the death of George Floyd. However, the judge who presided over the trial said the case might be far from over.
Throughout the whole proceedings, protesters and rioters were in the streets of Minneapolis demanding “justice” in the case. This not only was tolerated but in fact was encouraged by many on the left.
Most notably, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California visited Minnesota and declared that protesters would need to turn up the heat if the trial didn’t go their way.
“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,” Waters said.
Maxine Waters is marching in Brooklyn Center tonight and told people to take to the streets if Chauvin is acquitted pic.twitter.com/RemfvCCLAn
— Peace Promoter Poso (@JackPosobiec) April 18, 2021
As Fox News noted, rioters around the country were already looting retail stores, throwing things at police officers and burning businesses. It’s unclear what Waters had in mind in calling for a “more confrontational” approach, but it would surely be dangerous.
As such, defense attorney Eric Nelson suggested to Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill that these statements should result in a mistrial.
He said Monday that “an elected official, US congressperson” issued statements which “I think are reasonably interpreted to be threats against the sanctity of the jury process,” according to a CNN trial transcript.
“There is a high probability that members of this jury have seen these comments, are familiar with these comments and things that have happened throughout the course of this trial,” Nelson said.
While Cahill ultimately denied the motion to declare a mistrial, he agreed that Waters’ comments could spell disaster for the prosecution in an appeal.
“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.
“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.”
Judge Peter Cahill rips Rep. Maxine Waters for "abhorrent" comments over the weekend on the trial:
"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law." pic.twitter.com/8QHDXcmaTI
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 19, 2021
Cahill is correct that politicians, particularly those on the left side of the aisle, have inserted themselves into this case at a level that we have rarely seen in America. President Joe Biden said Tuesday before the verdict was reached that he was praying for a conviction.
“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is — I think it’s overwhelming, in my view,” he said.
WATCH: Pres. Biden talks about Derek Chauvin trial while the jury is sequestered during deliberations: "I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is—I think it’s overwhelming, in my view."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 20, 2021
This is an outrageous thing for a president to say. Suggesting that the jury must do the “right” thing, which in Biden’s mind had already been decided, is completely counter to the way the justice system is supposed to work.
Even after the verdict, some leftists praised the decision by arguing that demonstrators had helped to secure the guilty verdict.
After inappropriately thanking George Floyd for dying, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that the “thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice” played a key role.
Nancy Pelosi thanks George Floyd for being murdered pic.twitter.com/na0Fjoj891
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 20, 2021
What Pelosi and others on the left don’t seem to understand is that this kind of rhetoric is an admission of a problem. If protesters or rioters directly influenced the jury’s decision, that would be inappropriate and should result in a reversal on appeal.
Yet they do not really care about the justice system, and they don’t really care about checks and balances in any capacity. They have made it clear with their actions that they wish to ram through partisan policies by any means necessary, and this disdain for America’s institutions extends to the courts as well.
The left believes that mob justice should rule the day. It doesn’t like trials because it sees them as roadblocks on the path to its desired end goal.
It may very well be that the jury was correct to find Chauvin guilty of all charges.
However, that decision should not be reached based on threats and inflammatory rhetoric from elected officials.