A Minnesota state lawmaker wants to strip convicted protesters of their access to government programs, including food stamps, student loans, and health care.
Republican state Sen. David Osmek authored the legislation as the nation awaits a decision in the jury trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was charged in the death of George Floyd.
After a long day of closing arguments, the jurors deliberated about four hours before retiring for the night to the hotel where they are being sequestered for this final phase of the trial, the Associated Press reported. They were slated to resume Tuesday morning.
“A person convicted of a criminal offense related to the person’s illegal conduct at a protest, demonstration, rally, civil unrest, or march is ineligible for any type of state loan, grant, or assistance, including but not limited to college student loans and grants, rent and
mortgage assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance, unemployment benefits and other employment assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid programs, business grants, medical assistance, general assistance, and energy assistance,” read the bill.
Ahead of the jury deliberations, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was criticized for appearing to incite violence with her comments in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, demanding that protesters become “more confrontational” if Chauvin is acquitted of murder.
“We got to stay on the street,” the 82-year-old said during a protest on Sunday. “And we’ve got to get more active. You’ve got to get more confrontational. You got to make sure that they know we mean business.”
Many called out Waters for the irresponsible comments, but the most damning response came from Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the Chauvin trial. Cahill called the comments “abhorrent” while admonishing lawmakers to be more respectful to the judicial branch in accordance with their oath to defend the Constitution.
“A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot. Anyway,” Cahill said in court.
The Minnesota bill is not likely to pass with Democrats controlling the state House and the governor’s office.
Here’s the latest in the Derek Chauvin trial:
Jury retires for the night in murder