Maxine Waters did not incite a riot on Saturday. But she may have inspired a young woman to run for office.

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Representative Maxine Waters(C) (D-CA) speaks to the media during an ongoing protest at the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Brooklyn Centre, Minnesota on April 17, 2021. – Police officer, Kim Potter, who shot dead Black 20-year-old Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb after appearing to mistake her gun for her Taser was arrested April 14 on manslaughter charges.

  • Rep. Maxine Waters said protesters should be “more confrontational” if police enjoy impunity.
  • Some on the right have accused her of inciting violence. But protesters did not see it that way.
  • After Waters spoke, most people went to bed. One woman said she was inspired to run for office.
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Did an 82-year-old Black woman incite a riot, or even commit an act of “domestic terrorism,” by urging people to continue protesting if police continue to get away with what they believe to be murder?

That was the claim in the right-wing media ecosystem this week – one which made it to the defense team for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, and into a column by CNN’s Chris Cillizza, who watered down the critique to “irresponsible.”

What did it actually set off?

Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democratic member of Congress from Los Angeles, attended a peaceful protest in Brooklyn Center, where a police officer this month killed an unarmed Black man during a traffic stop. While there, she addressed the crowd for about 10 minutes.

“I’m here from Washington, DC, because I could not sleep. I could not rest. I could not be satisfied that another young Black man has been killed by police. And Daunte Wright did not deserve to be killed,” Waters said.

“I’m here to say that I stand with you,” Waters said. And “there are many in Congress who feel like I do,” she said, assuring the crowd it had allies, of all colors, in the halls of power. “We’re going to stand for justice. We’re going to fight for justice.”

To this point, her remarks, posted online by the nonprofit media outlet Unicorn Riot (beginning at 2:12), were typical of a politician speaking to activists in the streets. If anything, they were palliative, serving as a reminder to those outraged by police killings that there are two tracks to criminal justice reform – that there are people who share the outrage of those in the streets who are working within the political system.

Rather than “defund the police,” Waters spoke of reimagining the role of law enforcement, questioning the utility of having cops respond to mental health calls, not challenging their existence.

It’s what she said after addressing the crowd, when speaking to a smaller group of reporters and citizen journalists, that went viral. Asked what protesters should do if Derek Chauvin is found not guilty of murder, Waters said: “Well, we gotta 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,” Waters said.

That is the snippet being cast in the least charitable light as incitement to riot, among the conservative blogosphere, and on CNN as having “inflamed a very volatile situation.”

Waters’ Democratic colleagues don’t believe she even committed a faux pas, much less a crime or a reason to declare a mistrial in the Chauvin case. “I don’t think she meant violence, I’m convinced of that,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters on Monday. “She believes in her issues. And she speaks truth to power.”

But did protesters take it that way? The last time a politician was accused of inciting a riot, a violent mob stormed the US Capitol, attacking police officers with bear spray and fire extinguishers in an effort to thwart the peaceful transfer of power.

In a word: No. There was no riot in Minnesota after an elder stateswoman addressed a peaceful crowd of some 350 people. Many people left – her comments were just minutes before the city’s 11 p.m. curfew. “We are pleased to share that the city of Brooklyn Center had a quiet night on Saturday,” Reginald Edwards, the city’s acting city manager, said in a statement.

According to local media, protesters themselves made sure of that. Although assembled outside the local police station, “there was no attempt to breach the fences,” the Star Tribune reported; police likewise kept the calm, declining to escalate the situation with tear gas or flash-bang grenades. And when a few people shook the fence, later in the evening when the crowd had dwindled to less than 100, they “were dispersed by other protesters who argued for a more peaceful approach,” according to the paper.

According to Minnesota Public Radio, there was only one arrest on Saturday, and the crowd was “more subdued compared to Friday night,” when around 100 were arrested. MPR said that at times there was music and dancing and that even after curfew set in, “police did not advance on the crowd; instead, it dissipated on its own.”

If Maxine Waters sought to incite a riot, she plainly failed. But if she may have inspired someone to follow in her footsteps.

“I’m going to school to be in her shoes,” one young woman told Unicorn Riot after hearing Waters speak. “Seeing her, here right now, just makes me ready to be in her position,” she said, hardly able to contain her excitement. “So I’m running for president.”

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Marjorie Taylor Greene says she’ll introduce a resolution to expel Rep. Maxine Waters for her ‘continual incitement of violence.’

Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) wears a “Trump Won” face mask as she arrives on the floor of the House to take her oath of office on the opening day of the 117th Congress at the US Capitol on Sunday, January 3, 2021.

  • GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she’d introduce a resolution to expel Rep. Maxine Waters.
  • Greene said Waters incited violence when she spoke with protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
  • Protests in the city have gone on for a week following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.
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GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she plans to introduce a resolution to expel Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters from Congress for her “continual incitement of violence on innocent American people.”

In a tweet on Sunday, Greene said Waters was inciting violence when she spoke with demonstrators in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Saturday.

“Rep Waters is a danger to our society,” Greene wrote.

Protests were on their seventh day following the police shooting of Daunte Wright when Waters spoke to a peaceful crowd past the 11 p.m. curfew that was imposed, The Star Tribune reported.

Waters told the crowd that she supports murder charges and called for police reform.

“We’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue,” Waters said.

But Greene said Waters had a hand in inciting violence.

“After traveling across state lines to incite riots, her orders recorded on video last night at the Brooklyn Center, directly led to more violence and a drive-by shooting on National Guardsmen in Minnesota early this morning,” she wrote.

On Sunday morning, two National Guardsmen suffered minor injuries when someone in an SUV fired at them while they were providing neighborhood security in Minneapolis, ABC News reported.

One guardsman was taken to the hospital for glass-related injuries while the other’s injuries were described as superficial. It’s not yet known who fired the shots.

Greene added: “As a sitting United States Congresswoman @MaxineWaters threatened a jury demanding a guilty verdict and threatened violence if Chauvin is found not guilty. This is also an abuse of power.”

At the protest, Waters said she and the crowd are “looking for a guilty verdict” for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin was charged with the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, and has been on trial in Minneapolis.

“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” Waters said in a video posted on Twitter from the event.

“I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away,” she added. “We’ve got to get more confrontational.”

In February, the House voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments as a response to her previous endorsement of political violence and support for QAnon conspiracy theories.

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Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of ‘actively encouraging riots and violence’ after she protested the police killing of Daunte Wright

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on March 9, 2021.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of inciting violence at protests against police brutality.
  • Waters rallied against recent police killings of Black men, telling demonstrators to remain in place.
  • “Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence,” Cruz tweeted in response to Waters’ remarks.
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Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday suggested that Rep. Maxine Waters was inciting violence by encouraging demonstrators in Minnesota to continue protesting against police brutality.

Waters, a California Democrat, attended on Sunday one of the protests against the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

The protests have been set against the backdrop of the trial against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck. The courthouse where the trial takes place is only miles away from where an officer shot and killed Wright last week.

At the protest, Waters said she and the crowd are “looking for a guilty verdict” for Chauvin.

“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” she said, according to a video posted on Twitter from the event.

“I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away,” she added. “We’ve got to get more confrontational.”

Cruz, a Republican from Texas, blasted those remarks from Waters.

“Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence,” he tweeted in response, along with a Daily Mail article reporting Waters’ comments.

“They want to tear us apart,” he added.

Wright was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, officer Kimberly Potter, who had 26 years of experience on the force. The department’s police chief said earlier this week that she intended to shoot Wright with her Taser, not her gun. Potter has since resigned and is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge.

After Wright was killed, protests erupted in the streets of Brooklyn Center and the surrounding Minneapolis area.

Starting from day one of the protests, officials called in the National Guard and imposed a curfew. Protesters have since broken that curfew to demonstrate against police brutality.

At some of these protests, police clashed with demonstrators and fired tear gas and nonlethal rounds to disperse the crowds. Among the protesters who were tear-gassed was Wright’s aunt, Kelly Bryant.

She told Insider she watched people throw garbage at the police.

“I have never seen anything like that in my life. I was tear-gassed,” she said. “It was not a pretty sight. I was watching people loot and break windows, stealing stuff out of stores, burning stuff. It was bad. It was really bad.”

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City manager ‘relieved of his duties’ after fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright

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Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey speaks during a press conference about the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright at the Brooklyn Center police headquarters on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon referred to the incident as an “accidental discharge” and that the officer who shot and killed Wright meant to grab their Taser.

  • The city manager of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, was fired Monday evening.
  • Mayor Mike Elliott announced the move on Twitter.
  • It comes after a police officer fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.
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The person who oversees Brooklyn Center’s day-to-day government operations was fired Monday, a day after police in the Minnesota city shot and killed a young Black man during a traffic stop.

“Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties,” Mayor Mike Elliott announced on Twitter.

On Sunday, a police officer in Brooklyn Center shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright in what their superiors insist is an accident. Body camera footage of the incident shows Wright scuffling with police and getting back into his car, at which point an officer can be heard shouting “Taser! Taser! Taser!”

Moments later, that same voice can be heard saying, “Holy s–t. I just shot him.”

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said Monday that Wright died from a gunshot wound to the chest, ruling his death a “homicide.”

Earlier in the day, Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey, amid calls to fire the officer who pulled the trigger, said all employees of the city are entitled to “due process with respect to discipline.”

“This employee will receive due process,” he said, “and that’s really all I can say today.”

He was removed from his position soon after. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, city council members also voted 3-2 to hand the former city manager’s authority over the police department to the mayor.

Wright’s killing comes at a particularly fraught time, as less than 20 minutes away, jurors hear testimony in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with killing George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.

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Biden says it ‘remains to be determined’ if fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota was accidental

Biden
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with labor leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington

  • President Joe Biden said it “remains to be determined” if the shooting of Duante Wright was accidental or not.
  • Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot during a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In his first remarks about the police killing of a 20-year old Black man, Daunte Wright, President Joe Biden said that “it remains to be determined,” whether the shooting was accidental or not.

Biden added that he viewed “fairly graphic” body camera footage of Wright’s death, where an officer shot him during a routine traffic stop.

The cop mistakenly drew their gun instead of a Taser, according to Minnesota police. The officer is on administrative leave while authorities investigate the deadly shooting.

Biden said would review additional details before calling the Wright family, saying the family was in his prayers.

“We do know that the anger pain and trauma amidst the Black community is real,” said Biden. He added: “There is absolutely no justification for looting, no justification for violence.”

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