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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said she does not believe Representative Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) should apologize for her recent suggestion that protesters should “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted.
“Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the Civil Rights movement. I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family,” Pelosi said during an appearance on CNN. “They’ve handled this with great dignity and no ambiguity or lack of misinterpretation by the other side.”
“No, no, I don’t think she should apologize,” she added.
On Saturday, Waters traveled to Brooklyn Center, Minn., to join protests in response to the police shooting of Daunte Wright last week. A local officer fatally shot 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop. The officer, who officials said intended to discharge a Taser and not a handgun, has resigned and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Speaking just a few miles from where George Floyd died last year after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest, Waters said she was “going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice,” and called on others to join her.
“We’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue,” she said.
Reporters asked Waters about the potential verdict in Chauvin’s case, which is expected to be handed down this week.
Waters responded by saying that activists have “got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active” if he is not found guilty.
“We’ve got to get more confrontational,” Waters said, according to Fox News. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) on Sunday called on Pelosi to take action against Waters over her comments.
“Maxine Waters is inciting violence in Minneapolis — just as she has incited it in the past,” McCarthy said in a tweet. “If Speaker Pelosi doesn’t act against this dangerous rhetoric, I will bring action this week.”
However, asked by CNN if Waters’ comments had incited violence, Pelosi responded, “Absolutely not.”