Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters defended her call for protesters to “get more confrontational” if former police officer Derek Chauvin was not found guilty in the death of George Floyd.
“I have been an activist participating in the civil rights movement and I have dealt with the issue of police abuse for many decades,” Waters wrote Thursday in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. Waters survived a censure resolution introduced by Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy in a party-line vote.
Op-Ed: Maxine Waters: I’m not new to this https://t.co/tSaxqOnIQl
— L.A. Times Opinion (@latimesopinion) April 22, 2021
“We’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational,” Waters said during an interview with Unicorn Riot on April 17. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business” if Chauvin was not found guilty. (RELATED: Rep. Maxine Waters Asked For Police Escort As She Encouraged Protesters To ‘Get More Confrontational’)
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on April 20.
“I traveled to Minnesota to be with other members of Congress, civil rights leaders and other local officials to give support to the families affected by police violence, and to stand in solidarity with the young people protesting,” Waters wrote.
She blamed Republicans for taking her words out of context. “Now, because of who I am, the right wing and members of Congress who subscribe to the views of groups like QAnon, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and the KKK have targeted me.”
Judge Peter Cahill told Chauvin’s defense lawyer, Eric Nelson, that Waters’ comments “may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
Waters also misrepresented her views on the 1992 Los Angeles riots, in the aftermath of the police beating of Rodney King.
“Ahead of the verdict in the federal civil rights trial of the officers who brutally beat Rodney King, I wrote to our community and I implored our young people to be responsible. I implored them to be about life and not about death,” she wrote.
“Anybody who knows me or has seen the way I stand up for my community knows that I am nonviolent.”
However, during the riots, she said that they were “somewhat understandable, if not acceptable. So I call it a rebellion.”
“There were mothers who took this as an opportunity to take some milk, to take some bread, to take some shoes. Maybe they shouldn’t have done it, but the atmosphere was such that they did it,” she told a local radio station. “One lady said her children didn’t have any shoes. She just saw those shoes there, a chance for all of her children to have new shoes… I might have gone in and taken them for her myself.”