Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) refused to back down amid criticism from her Republican colleagues after she addressed protesters following the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the nation waits for the murder trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd to conclude.
Waters had said that if Chauvin is not found guilty, “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.”
“We’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue,” Waters said.
Waters dismissed the criticism of these comments altogether.
“This is a time for [Republicans] to keep telling our constituents that [Democrats] are the enemy and they do that time and time again,” she told The Grio. “But that does not deter me from speaking truth to power. I am not intimidated. I am not afraid, and I do what needs to be done.”
“I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up. I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation,” she clarified. “I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them.”
She further noted that she hopes Chauvin is found guilty because she worries about the “disappointment and hopelessness” a not-guilty verdict would inflict on disenfranchised and frustrated communities disproportionately affected by police brutality.
“I’m worried about the disappointment of particularly the young people and young Black males who are more and more frightened of the police, afraid to drive their cars when they see police coming and thinking that their lives will be in danger,” she said. “I’m afraid that it further helps to cement the feeling that somehow justice just does not work for us in America. And so whatever that causes, it will cause … I don’t know what will happen, but I know that disappointment and hopelessness is not a good thing.”
Waters’ comments prompted Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to introduce a resolution to expel her, citing “her continual incitement of violence.”
Greene claimed Waters’s comments “led to more violence and a drive by shooting on National Guardsmen in Minnesota early this morning.”
Though the National Guard said in a news release that a Minnesota National Guard and Minneapolis police team were shot at in a drive-by shooting yesterday morning, there is no evidence that Water’s remarks contributed to the shooting in any way.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.