Dershowitz: Waters Used Tactics From KKK Playbook in Chauvin Trial Comments

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Posted: Apr 21, 2021 7:37 AM
Dershowitz: Waters Used Tactics From KKK Playbook in Chauvin Trial Comments

Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

Attorney Alan Dershowitz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of using tactics from the Ku Klux Klan playbook in an effort to “intimidate the jury” in former police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial.

"First of all, the judge should have granted the motion for a mistrial based on the efforts of Congresswoman Waters to influence the jury," he said during an interview with Newsmax.

"Her message was clearly intended to get to the jury: 'If you will acquit or if you find the charge less than murder, we will burn down your buildings. We will burn down your businesses. We will attack you. We will do what happened to the witness—blood on their door,'" Dershowitz added. 

Waters on Saturday appeared at protests in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, in the wake of Daunte Wright’s death from a police shooting. When asked what would happen if Chauvin was found not guilty, she urged them 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.

Dershowitz likened Waters's comments to efforts by the KKK. 

"It's borrowed precisely from the Ku Klux Klan of the 1930s and 1920s when the Klan would march outside of courthouses and threatened all kinds of reprisals if the jury ever dared convict a white person or acquit a black person," he said.

"And so, efforts to intimidate a jury should result in a mistrial.... The judge, of course, wouldn't grant a mistrial because then he'd be responsible for the riots that would ensue, even though it was Waters who was responsible," Dershowitz continued.

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter on Tuesday, the same day an effort by Republicans to censure Waters over her comments failed in the House.