ICYMI: Rep. Maxine Waters Discusses George Floyd’s Murder on TMZ Live
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) joined TMZ Live to discuss the death of George Floyd of Minneapolis, MN, Donald Trump’s “dog whistles,” and the path forward for the country.
Watch her full interview here.
Key excerpts are as follows:
Rep. Waters on the murder of George Floyd and Donald Trump’s “dog whistles”:
“Well, I have to tell you, my thought was, ‘not again, not one more killing.’ And I’m reflecting on all of the killings of young Black men in particular, but of course Black women too, at the hands of the police and at the hands of white supremacists. And I’m thinking about the way that the president conducts himself. In a way, he’s dog whistling. And I think they are feeling that they can get away with this kind of treatment. I’m just so sorry about the loss of another life.”
Rep. Waters on the “psychology” of the Minneapolis police officer who pinned his knee on George Floyd’s neck for at least five minutes, while three other officers stood by:
“I don’t understand the psychology necessarily, but I think that the officer who had his knee on [George Floyd’s] neck, enjoyed doing what he was doing. I believe sometimes some of these officers leave home thinking, I’m going to get me one today. And I think this was his one…. He didn’t care that anyone was photographing him…and the officers who stood there and watched him are just as guilty as he is.”
Rep. Waters on the outcry from concerned citizens:
“Citizens are doing the best job that they can do by photographing it. They’re photographing. They’re showing what is taking place, and what we’re finding is that the justice system does not work. The justice system will find a way to protect those officers, in most cases. They will find ‘justifiable homicide.’ And that’s what we’ve got to deal with. We’ve got to deal with the fact that we’re in America with a justice system that does not work for everybody, and that when we have one of these killings, we cannot depend on this justice system to make the right conclusion about what has taken place. And so, I’m saying that we’ve got to come together to talk about what we’re going to do, how we’re going to do it, and how we’re going to protect ourselves.”
Earlier this week, Congresswoman Waters also issued a statement calling for the prosecution of all of the officers involved in the death of George Floyd. Her full statement follows:
“George Floyd is yet another unarmed African American man who has been killed at the hands of the police. George Floyd’s murder is a painful and tragic indication that we have, in fact, entered into an era where some law enforcement officers, white supremacists, and other radical extremists are feeling empowered to target, brutalize, and kill unarmed African Americans with impunity. I extend my sincere condolences to George Floyd’s family, friends, and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.
“As our community reflects on the actions by police officers that led to George Floyd’s death, we cannot help but be reminded of Eric Garner, another unarmed Black man who, like George Floyd, cried out ‘I can’t breathe’ but was ignored by New York City police offices and died as a result of their negligence and excessive use of force. We think of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Breonna Taylor, and countless other African Americans who have been killed at the hands of officers who swore an oath to protect and serve their communities.
“I am grateful to those who captured video footage of the inhumane and unconscionable treatment that George Floyd was subjected to by law enforcement officers. Just as we have witnessed with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by armed white vigilantes who were not arrested until video footage was released publicly, were it not for the video footage of George Floyd being pinned to the ground by the knee of a police officer for five minutes, the swift action by the City of Minneapolis to remove the four officers from the police department may not have occurred.
“While I am pleased with the firing of the officers involved in this incident, George Floyd’s death must be properly investigated by an independent counsel, and all who were involved must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Such injustice at the hands of the police must not be tolerated.
“Unfortunately, African Americans cannot trust the current U.S. attorney general or the current president of the United States to provide leadership and use the power of their offices to confront the racial bias, targeting, and use of excessive force by police officers across the country. In the absence of leadership from our nation’s highest office, I will be in contact with the nation’s leading civil rights organizations and criminal justice reform advocacy groups as we unite and confront this epidemic of violence head on, and with one strong voice.”
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