Nelson obviously disagreed, saying the jury should have been sequestered from the beginning of the trial, “and so I have moved based on that for a mistrial.” Nelson said he gets thousands upon thousands of emails related to the trial. “My phone gives me alerts on things that just happened. I mean you can’t avoid it, and it is so pervasive that I just don’t know how this jury can really be said to be that they are free from the taint of this,” Nelson said. “And now that we have U.S. representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to this specific case, it’s mind-boggling to me judge.”
Cahill admitted that he wishes “elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function.”
“I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a coequal branch of government,” the judge said. “Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don’t think it’s prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury.”
Personally, I like to reserve words like “abhorrent” for people who brutalize and kill others, not the lawmakers who advocate for justice in their deaths. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer defended Waters in an interview with CNN. “I don’t think she meant violence,” Hoyer told the news network. “(…) She’s never advocated violence. She, she is a passionate — she believes in her issues.”
Waters’ remarks are hardly more inflammatory than those from any other activist or politician speaking out on what was an infuriating case of police brutality. President Joe Biden prayed for “the right verdict” at a meeting with Latino legislators on Tuesday in the Oval Office, according to The Washington Post. He said he waited until the jury was sequestered before he called the Floyd family Monday night and spoke with both of George Floyd’s brothers. “I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they’re feeling,” the president said.
He was similarly accused of speaking out of turn while jurors are still deliberating, accusations White House press secretary Jen Psaki quickly responded to. “I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict,” Psaki said. “He was conveying what many people are feeling across the country, which is compassion for the family, what a difficult time this is, what a difficult time this is for many Americans across the country who have been watching this trial very closely.”
“The jury is sequestered,” Psaki said. “That is different from where things stood just yesterday. And he noted that in his comments as well.”