“We’ve got to stay in the street and demand justice,” Waters said to reporters, according to video posted on social media.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice,” she added.
Asked what protesters should do if there is no guilty verdict, Waters said protests should continue.
“We got to 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,” she said.
Asked about the curfew put in place, Waters said, “I don’t think anything about curfew. Curfew means I want you all to stop talking. I want you to stop meeting. I want you to stop gathering. I don’t agree with that.”
The congresswoman’s comments come at a particularly fraught time in the nation’s history. Closing arguments are underway in Chauvin’s trial, and protests continue over the killing of Wright. Authorities have ramped up security around Minneapolis, with crews installing razor wire around some police buildings and National Guard troops have been deployed in parts of the city’s downtown.
“I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up,” she said. I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation.”
Waters’ comments over the weekend drew swift criticism from several Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
The words “more confrontational,” McCarthy tweeted Sunday night, means she is “inciting violence.” McCarthy also says if Pelosi doesn’t take action against Waters, he will. McCarthy’s options are limited as Republicans are in the minority, but he could take several symbolic steps, including calling for a censure of Waters, even if Democrats would block such an action. CNN has reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office for comment.
Greene, meanwhile, called on Twitter for Waters to be expelled from Congress.