Rep. Maxine Waters is getting a lot of heat for her recent threats of more protests and violence if the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial doesn’t reach a guilty verdict.
Her remarks earned a rebuke from the judge presiding over the case, with Judge Peter Cahill declaring: “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.” He added that Waters “may have given [the defense] something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
So, what did Joe Biden do? He made his own comments on the potential outcome, saying on Tuesday that he is “praying the verdict is the right verdict.”
“I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they’re feeling, and so I waited until the jury was sequestered, and I called,” Biden said. “I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but [George Floyd’s brother] Philonise said today on television, and he accurately said it was a private conversation because Joe understands what it was like to go through loss. They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquility, no matter what that verdict is. I’m praying that verdict is the right verdict, which I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.”
Joe Biden may not have directly called for a guilty verdict, but his public words on the death of George Floyd have made it clear what he thinks the “right” verdict is. Waiting until the jury is deliberating doesn’t change the fact that Biden’s comments will be heard by hundreds and thousands of potential protesters, who, instead of hearing the president say that people should respect the judgment of the jury, regardless of the verdict, heard the president say that he hopes they reach the right verdict—meaning that there’s a wrong one. Maxine Waters clearly thinks there’s a right and a wrong verdict, and called for more violence if the wrong verdict is reached.
Joe Biden shouldn’t have said anything about the verdict in the case. We all know what he thinks the “right” verdict is, and who knows how many people will hear his words and, should the jury reach the “wrong” verdict, take to the streets, damage property, hurt or kill people.