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Cawthorne’s tweet that businesses will ‘burn’ regardless of Chauvin verdict ignites both sides
Sunday, 02 May 2021 13:50

From Staff Reports

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-Hendersonville, ignited a so-called “tweet-storm” from both his supporters and opponents — and massive coverage in the news media — after lobbing what, for him, was a prototypically politically incorrect verbal hand grenade April 20 that rocked the ruling leftist political establishment just before the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

Specifically, Cawthorn tweeted a message — placing the blame on Democrats for what he said would happen after the verdict was read — as follows:

“American businesses are going to burn tonight regardless of the verdict. And that tells you all you need to know about the left’s belief in the rule of law.”

Cawthorn’s tweet was sent just before the verdict was announced that “Chauvin murdered Floyd by pressing his knee for more than nine minutes on the back of Floyd’s neck while he lay handcuffed face-down on the ground,” the Asheville Citizen Times noted. “The tweet, which drew nearly 3,000 likes and hundreds of criticisms, was another in a growing list of controversial statements by the Western North Carolina congressman that has helped draw a historic number of challengers in the 2020 race for the 11th District.”

Following the verdict, the ACT stated that black members of Congress said Chauvin’s conviction marked the “first step” and called for the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to boost police accountability and prevent problem officers from moving from one department to another by creating a national registry.

In contrast, the ACT noted, “Cawthorn appeared on the right-wing Newsmax to criticize the bill’s proponents, saying they were trying to politicize the situation and ‘disarm’ police officers.”

In a statement following the announcement of the verdict against Chauvin, Cawthorn asserted: 

“I’m glad that justice was served to what may have been a bad police officer, but I can tell you the overwhelming majority — 99 percent — of all police officers are the greatest men and women I’ve ever met.”

Meanwhile, in an April 22 Zoom interview with Asheville television station WLOS (News 13), Cawthorn addressed what was described by News 13 in its story as Cawthorn’s “alarming tweet,” as well as other political issues.

“Number one reason (for his tweet) is because of Maxine Waters. I genuinely believe we need to respect the Judicial Branch as a co-equal branch of government and not try to inject ourselves into that process,” News 13 quoted Cawthorn as saying. (Waters is a Democrat and congresswoman from California.)

Also, Cawthorn noted to the TV station that the day before the verdict, “Waters called for protestors to be more confrontational if there was a ‘not guilty’ verdict,” News 13 reported.

Regarding Waters’ comments, CNN reported on April 19 that Waters on April 17 night called for protesters to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted in the killing of George Floyd.

CNN added, “The comments by Waters, a California Democrat and icon among progressives, were immediately seized on by Republicans who claimed that Waters was inciting violence. The congresswoman denied in a subsequent interview that she was encouraging violence, but the remarks come at a time of immense national tension amid several high-profile killings of black people at the hands of police officers and as American cities brace for a fresh wave of protests as the Chauvin trial nears a close.

“Waters said she was in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Saturday night (April 17) to show her support for protesters amid ongoing protests over the police killing of Daunte Wright and to also support his family.

“‘We’ve got to stay in the street and demand justice,’ Waters said to reporters, according to video posted on social media, CNN reported.

Further, the cable television network quoted Waters as saying:

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice.”

At that point, CNN asked what protesters should do if there is no guilty verdict. Waters replied that protests should continue.

Further, Waters was quoted as saying:

“We 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.”

When CNN asked about the curfew put in place, Waters’ response was quoted as follows:

“I don’t think anything about curfew. Curfew means I want you all to stop talking. I want you to stop meeting. I want you to stop gathering. I don’t agree with that.”

Earlier April 19, Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the Chauvin case, “referenced Waters’ weekend comments, telling the defense that she ‘may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,’” CNN reported.

“‘‘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,’ Cahill later added. ‘I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a coequal branch of government.’

What’s more, the judge said, ‘‘Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don’t think it’s prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury.’” CNN stated.

 



 


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