Republican members of Congress from Minnesota have called for an investigation and censure of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) for her “inflammatory rhetoric” during a protest she attended in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Remarks on Waters’ rhetoric came in a letter from Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), and Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN), and was addressed to top Democrats in the House, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). The letter stated:
On the evening of Saturday, April 17th, Representative Maxine Waters participated in a demonstration outside of the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. As Representative Waters addressed the crowd, she encouraged those in attendance to ‘stay in the streets’ and ‘get more active, get more confrontational, and let them know we mean business.’
Further, Representative Waters encouraged protestors to defy locally enacted curfews designed to protect life and property, and decried any verdict short of ‘guilty of first-degree murder’ as insufficient in the trial of Derek Chauvin, despite it not being one of the charges presented against Mr. Chauvin.
In the letter, the Minnesota Republican delegation said Waters’ remarks were “unacceptable” and “divisive”:
During a time of increased tension around the nation – especially in a state like Minnesota where hundreds of businesses were destroyed and dozens of people were injured in riots less than one year ago – these comments from a senior member of the majority party and Committee Chair in the House of Representatives are unacceptable, divisive, and can only be viewed as a means to incite further violence and destruction.
As leaders of the House of Representatives, we ask you: provide for the immediate consideration of a resolution censuring Representative Waters for her inflammatory rhetoric, investigate whether taxpayer funds were used for Representative Waters’ travel to a state and district that she was not elected to represent for activities unrelated to her official duties, and publicly condemn Representative Waters’ remarks and urge calm in the days and weeks ahead.
According to the representatives who sent the letter, the “most concerning aspects” of Waters’ conduct came as she answered questions from those in the crowd.
In backing its call for a censure and investigation of Waters, Congressional Minnesota Republicans highlighted the reality of the violent protests that have occurred in the state, noting the “destruction and elimination” of Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct.
Between May 26 and June 7, 2020, more than 600 people were arrested and 1,500 buildings were damaged – 100 of which were completely destroyed – in Minneapolis and St. Paul, totaling more than $500 million in property loss. The destruction included the elimination of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct as well as countless minority-owned small businesses. Additional riots around the country occurred simultaneously with the ones in Minneapolis, causing widespread looting and violence. It wasn’t until local officials implemented a system of curfews and deployed the National Guard that communities were able to restore calm and stop the destruction.
The delegation also stated that Waters’ “deliberately objecting to locally established curfews is irresponsible and harmful to the safety of the hardworking families and businesses in Minnesota.”
The letter also noted local reports, claiming that “Waters left the protest as an altercation occurred between protesters and reporters.”
“Shortly after that, a Minnesota National Guard and Minneapolis Police Department neighborhood security team was fired upon during a drive-by shooting early Sunday morning,” the letter added, further noting that “no action is taken” when it involves a Democrat member of Congress:
After listening to Representative Waters’ divisive rhetoric and watching violence erupt following her remarks, there is a stunning silence from members of Democrat leadership on the subject of accountability and healing. Calls for accountability and healing are swift when it involves members of the minority in Congress, yet, when a member of the majority party travels to a community they do not represent to incite violence and sow division – no action is taken.
“As leaders of the people’s house, we urge you to immediately censure and investigate Representative Waters for her inflammatory rhetoric and make a public call for calm in the days and weeks ahead,” the letter concluded. “The eyes of the nation are on Minnesota.”
“Today, I stood with the Republican members of the Minnesota delegation to call for the censure and condemnation of Representative Waters’ use of inflammatory rhetoric, and to investigate whether she used official funds to travel outside of her state and district to do so,” Emmer wrote in a tweet.
In order for our state and the nation to heal, the focus on accountability must not be contingent upon political affiliation as every Member of Congress must ensure their actions as an elected official contribute to an atmosphere of unity, rather than lawlessness.
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) April 19, 2021
“In order for our state and the nation to heal, the focus on accountability must not be contingent upon political affiliation as every Member of Congress must ensure their actions as an elected official contribute to an atmosphere of unity, rather than lawlessness,” Emmer added.