As the jury began deliberations in the trial of Derek Chauvin Monday evening, the former Minneapolis police officer’s legal team raised several concerns with the judge over external influence impacting the jurors conclusion.
Chauvin’s attorneys pointed out that jurors weren’t sequestered during the case and therefore may not be free from external influence in the form of news updates they may have inadvertently or purposefully seen together with ongoing violence in the community surrounding the Chauvin trial and approaching verdict.
One of their concerns, Chauvin’s defense team pointed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and her appearance with demonstrators in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, over the weekend.
The judge continued with a scorching message for Rep. Waters and other elected officials who have participated in what he slams as”abhorrent” behavior disrespecting the rule of law and giving their opinion in a way that is inconsistent with their oath to the Constitution:
I’m aware of the media reports. I know that Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction and discussing being confrontational, but can you submit the press articles relating to this.
This goes back to what I have been saying from the beginning. I wish elected officials could stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that’s disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our purpose.
I think if they would like to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a fashion that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect the co-equal branch of government.
Their failure to do so I think is abhorrent, but I don’t think it’s prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury. They have been told to not watch the news. I trust they’re following those directions and that there is not in any way a prejudice to the defendant beyond the articles which were talking specifically about the facts of this case.
A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a great deal. Anyhow, so, motion for mistrial is denied.
Ultimately saying he trusted jurors to follow his instructions to them, the judge denied the defense’s motion for mistrial, including”a congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot.” The Judge’s remarks come as Democrat leaders take a much softer approach than Judge Cahill. The White House refused to directly condemn Waters’ rhetoric House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her colleague should not apologize.