Waters arrived in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Saturday to join demonstrations over the police shooting of Daunte Wright last week.
A local officer shot and killed Wright with a handgun during a traffic stop after intending to use a Taser., sparking nightly demonstrations in front of the local police headquarters, with some turning violent.
The longtime California congresswoman, frequently described as a firebrand, spoke to protesters outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department Saturday night, saying she came from Washington, D.C., because she “could not sleep” due to continued police killings.
Maxine Waters told demonstrators to “stay in the street” and become “more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted of killing resident George Floyd.
She affirmed her support for the continuing demonstrations, thanked the protesters for being there, and said “we cannot be still, we cannot be satisfied, until we get justice for Daunte Wright.”
When asked what protesters should do moving forward, Waters said “We’ve 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.”
“I’m going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice,” Waters told reporters at the Saturday demonstration. “We’ve got to get justice in this country and we cannot allow these killings to continue.”
Waters told reporters “I hope we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty,” in the Chauvin trial. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”
But the remarks she made in an interview with Unicorn Riot after her brief speech have created a stir among right-wing media outlets.
The remarks in question concern the Derek Chauvin trial, and what protesters should do if Chauvin is not found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
She says if there’s no guilty verdict, “we cannot go away.” In a separate part of the interview, she says “we got to stay on the street, get more active, more confrontational.”
Far-right media figures and elected officials, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, are now accusing Waters of “domestic terrorism” and calling for her arrest:
Waters, 82, has long been a target for conservative media, and during the past few years has made news for refusing to attend former President Donald Trump’s inauguration and boycotting one of his State of the Union addresses.