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Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

The Twin Cities are waiting for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. In the meantime, Brooklyn Center has been the focus of nightly protests outside of police headquarters after the shooting of Daunte Wright last week on Sunday.

The state is on edge. The nation is on edge as it awaits the jury’s decision. We hope and pray for calm. What we do not need is U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) dropping in to Brooklyn Center as she did over the weekend to inflame the crowd.

“I hope we get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty,” she said in response to reporters’ questions. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to stay on the street. We get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

Judge Peter Cahill admonished Rep. Waters in a statement from the bench Monday, after rejecting a defense motion for a mistrial because of Waters’ statement.

“I wish 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,” said the judge.

Amen.

Yes, Rep. Waters, we all know that a not guilty verdict will likely result in angry, violent demonstrations. Gov. Tim Walz has been sending the National Guard out at night to bolster police forces and send a message that the kind of violence and destruction that followed the George Floyd killing last May will not be tolerated. He has even announced he is calling in National Guard troops from Ohio and Nebraska.

Walz is hoping that the show of force will not be needed. We are all hoping that peaceful protests and demonstrations will follow whatever the verdict is in the Chauvin case, and that calm heads will prevail. But being prepared for the worst is a good idea. It may event prevent the worst from happening.

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