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U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district Maxine Waters attends the 'LA Pride ResistMarch' on June 11, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

April 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters has called on Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists to take to the streets and become “more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is not convicted of murder, eliciting a far more muted response from Democrats and the mainstream media who spent months accusing former President Donald Trump of inciting violence.

Chauvin is standing trial for his alleged role in the 2020 death of Minneapolis man George Floyd during an arrest, which sparked a wave of BLM violence and protests across the United States. His defense argues that he used appropriate force for the situation, and that Floyd’s death was actually due to a lethal quantity of fentanyl in his system.

“Oh no, not manslaughter. This is guilty for murder. I don’t know whether it’s in the first degree, but as far as I’m concerned it’s in the first degree,” Waters told a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota this weekend, the Media Research Center reports (Chauvin has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter; prosecutors did not seek a first-degree murder charge).

If he isn’t convicted by the jury, the California lawmaker continued, “We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, and get more confrontational. They’ve got to know that we mean business.”

Numerous Republicans denounced Waters for, in Sen. Ted Cruz’s words, “actively encouraging riots & violence,” but her comments went largely overlooked in the press, despite months of insistence that Trump “incited” the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by calling on supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” in protest of Congress certifying the 2020 election results. 

The Hill reports that Waters responded to her critics Monday with defiance, insisting “I am nonviolent” and claiming that her Republican critics were “send[ing] a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that, how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats'] backs.”

Waters is no stranger to inflammatory remarks. In 2018, she told a crowd: “If you see anybody from [Trump’s] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

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