Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters visited Brooklyn Center last night, where BLM protests against police violence have been going on for a week following the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a law enforcement officer. During her brief visit and similarly brief conversation with media outlets, Waters managed to make a number of head-scratching statements:
- She said that she does not know what "curfew" (which has been implemented by local authorities in response to illegal protests and clashes with police) means.
- Waters instantly contradicted herself by stating that curfew means: "I want you all to stop talking, I want you to stop meeting, I want you to stop gathering".
- The congresswoman called on other BLM protesters in Brooklyn Center to ignore the curfew, saying she does not "agree" with it.
- She urged BLM demonstrators to "stay on the streets" and "get more confrontational" if Derek Chauvin, who is on trial over the death of George Floyd, is found not guilty of "murder".
- After saying all that, less than 30 minutes before the curfew went into effect, the Democrat House member finally stated that she was not going to stay and protest with the rest of the BLM activists in Brooklyn Center.
"I came here from Washington just to be here, to make sure that I let my voice be heard among all of those who have been spending so much on the streets. So I'm hopeful that the protest will continue", Waters said before leaving.
After the House Democrat left the scene, around 150 people stayed in defiance of the curfew. However, unlike some of the previous nights, there were no clashes between the demonstrators and the police. The latter, in turn, refrained from using force to disperse the illegal meeting even as the protesters shouted insults directed against law enforcement personnel.
In the end, the BLM protesters dispersed on their own. Not all cities in the US have been as lucky in recent weeks. Many have faced major protests, sometimes descending into vandalism-sprees in the wake of several police shootings that have resulted in the deaths of African-Americans.
The killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright became one of the latest triggers for the new spate of BLM demonstrations. Wright resisted arrest for an outstanding warrant in Brooklyn Center during a traffic stop and was shot by a police officer. The man managed to drive away, but eventually crashed his vehicle and succumbed to his wounds. Police officer Kimberly Potter said she had accidentally grabbed her handgun instead of her Taser, shooting Wright in the chest once. Potter has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter and faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.