In the wake of George Floyd’s death Monday following an encounter with Minneapolis police, peaceful protests to mourn and call for justice have turned into violent riots rocking several cities across the nation.
Now, it appears as though Rep. Maxine Waters is adding more fuel to this fire with a sharply pointed accusation against Derek Chauvin, the officer at the heart of the case.
“I think that the officer who had his knee on [Floyd’s] neck enjoyed doing what he was doing,” the California Democrat told TMZ.
“I believe sometimes some of these officers leave home thinking, ‘I’m going to get one today,'” Waters continued, “and I think this is his one that he got today.”
The congresswoman said the other officers on the scene were just as guilty as Chauvin but provided no evidence to back up her assertions.
The reckless comments come as the riots burning across Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Memphis, Tennessee, threaten to stretch into the weekend.
For Minneapolis, the violence, now looking like a possibility for a third night in a row, has already left an unmistakable mark on the city.
Minnesota-based WCCO-TV reported that parts of the city are now “unrecognizable” after protests turned violent and tore across communities.
Police worked to control crowds Wednesday night as fire crews battled blazes set by the protesters.
Looters soon used the cover of the chaos to ransack businesses.
Video from inside a Minneapolis Target showed a chaotic scene as looters rampaged through the smoke-filled store, with some openly attempting to crack open self-checkout stands.
— kevin (@shaffer_kevin5) May 28, 2020
All four of the Minneapolis police officers have been fired, and the FBI is investigating their actions.
Surveillance video from a nearby business shed new light on the case Thursday. In the footage obtained by KTSP-TV, Floyd can be seen in handcuffs and largely cooperative with officers, who had said he “physically resisted” them.
A viral video taken a short time later would record Chauvin, a white officer, kneeling on the neck of Floyd, who is black. The video, and the subsequent news of Floyd’s death, ignited tensions in the community.
Waters’ comments, which play on the racial aspects of the case, seem poised to only fan racial divides in the city.
Her dismissal of the justice system and blanket attack against many cops is not far off from the lawmaker’s usual rhetoric, but the timing of her latest comments mean her words now have even greater potential to result in violence.
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