Rep. Maxine Waters called for police reform in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Saturday (April 17) in what marked the city’s seventh consecutive night of protests following the police shooting of Daunte Wright. Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was killed last week by white police officer Kim Potter, who police claim mistakenly fired her gun instead of her taser.
Addressing a crowd of nearly 300 protesters, Rep. Waters called for an overhaul of policing.
“Policing has got to be changed,” the California Democrat said. “We’ve got to reimagine how we can deal with the problems of our society... Young people and people of color in particular [are] getting killed by police that we pay to protect and serve us.”
In one tweeted video, Waters commented on the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, which has been going on in the neighboring city of Minneapolis.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” she said of the trial. If Chauvin is acquitted, though, Waters urges activists to continue to protest.
“We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational,” she said. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Waters also said she’s hoping to pass a bill in Congress to address police reform, but expects opposition from her conservative cohorts.
“I would like to see the bill in Congress pass for police reform, but I know that the right-wing and racists are opposed to it,” she explained.
According to New York Times reporter Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Waters remained in Minnesota until today (April 19), which is when closing arguments are being heard in Chauvin’s trial.
“I came here for one reason: just to be here, to make sure that I let my thoughts be heard among all of those who have spent so much time on the streets,” she said. “And so I’m hopeful that the protests will continue.”