By: Spencer Brown
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 outside influence impacting the jurors judgement.
Chauvin's lawyers pointed out that jurors were not sequestered during the case and therefore may not be free from outside influence in the form of news updates they may have inadvertently or purposefully seen along with ongoing violence in the community surrounding the Chauvin trial and approaching verdict.
Among 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.
Even though the judge denied the defense's motion for mistrial, he highlighted the damage her rhetoric may have done, saying "Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned."
The judge continued with a scorching message for Rep. Waters and other elected officials who have engaged 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.
Ultimately saying he trusted jurors to follow his instructions to them, the judge denied the defense's motion for mistrial, adding "a congresswoman's opinion really doesn't matter a whole lot."
The Judge's comments come as Democrat leaders take a much softer approach than Judge Cahill. The House House refused to directly condemn Waters' rhetoric while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her colleague shouldn't apologize.
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