“PBS NewsHour” correspondent Yamiche Alcindor went to bat for Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Monday after the lawmaker’s “confrontation” rhetoric about the Derek Chauvin trial led to her being accused of inciting violence.
During her visit to Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Saturday, Waters told reporters that if the former Minneapolis police officer isn’t convicted in the death of George Floyd, “We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Waters said she was “hopeful” Chauvin would be convicted of murder, but if he isn’t, “we cannot go away.”
Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson invoked the congresswoman’s remarks in a motion for a mistrial following closing arguments Monday. Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion, though he acknowledged to Nelson that “Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
Alcindor lept on Twitter to “fact-check” Nelson.
“Eric Nelson is now using Rep Maxine Waters saying that protesters should get ‘more active’ & ‘more confrontational’ if Derek Chauvin isn’t convicted as a reason for a mistrial to be declared. He’s claiming she threatened violence. Fact check: Waters did not threaten violence,” Alcindor wrote.
Social media critics proceeded to fact-check the “fact-checker.”
“Fact check: A reporter saying ‘fact check’ doesn’t mean they have any idea what they are talking about. Legally speaking, it’s entirely possible Waters’ comments could meet the threshold for instigating violence,” RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway reacted.
“I hate to break this to you, but an appeals court could quite plausibly find that her comments were a clear threat of civic violence. ‘More confrontational’ doesn’t mean ‘more hugs,’ National Review podcast host Jeff Blehar told Alcindor.
“oh that’s a good fact check,” Washington Examiner writer T. Becket Adams quipped.
“This is not a journalist,” conservative commentator Stephen Miller stated flatly.
Alcindor raised eyebrows earlier Monday when she provided some less-than-penetrating legal analysis in response to Nelson’s closing argument.
“Chauvin’s lawyer said it flies in the face of common sense to say Floyd’s death was not caused at least in part by his underlying conditions or drug use,” Alcindor tweeted. “This argument is in direct contradiction to the prosecution’s case which says believe your eyes, Chauvin’s knee killed Floyd.”
Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.