MINNEAPOLIS — The judge overseeing the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in the death of George Floyd said recent comments by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters are “abhorrent” and said they could lead to a verdict being appealed and overturned.
The California Democrat had joined protesters on Saturday and pressed for protests to escalate if Derek Chauvin was not found guilty on murder charges. But Judge Peter Cahill showed frustration with the rhetoric shortly after the jury was dismissed Monday to begin deliberations.
Chauvin’s defense attorney had motioned for a mistrial in light of Waters’ comments. Cahill denied the motion.
“Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” the judge told Chauvin’s attorney.
He called her comments“abhorrent” and “disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch.”
Chauvin, 45, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, all of which require the jury to conclude that his actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death and that his use of force was unreasonable.