We recently discussed the reckless rhetoric of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Cal., In Minnesota, including a statement that she and the protesters would not accept an acquittal in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The comments came after days of riot, looting and other violence. The concern is that such rhetoric would inflame those already prone to violence, especially given the shots aimed at the National Guard following her comments. Now the protesters appear to have targeted one of the defense witnesses – an act that is clearly intimidating and vengeful. The defaced house turned out to be the former home of Barry Brodd, the retired police officer.
Pig blood was smeared all over the house and garage.
The Santa Rosa Police Department said the “suspects of this vandalism” targeted Brodd for his testimony.
Protesters were in the courthouse throughout the trial. Some of us have criticized the judge for failing to seize the jury, which includes at least one person who lives in or near the Brooklyn Center. This is the site of the recent Daunte Wright shooting and renewed riot.
I can’t think of a better basis for seizing a jury. In fact, I stated earlier that there is a strong basis for changing the jurisdiction in the Chauvin case. It’s hard to see how the riots and protests wouldn’t adversely affect a jury.
Previously, the home of the prosecutor responsible for the manslaughter charge in the Wright case was also targeted by protesters. Previously, the district attorney involved in the beginning of the chauvin case sold his home after it was targeted. Hennepin District Attorney Mike Freeman and his wife had lived in the house for years but had to sell due to the nightly harassment.
Targeted crackdown on the homes of prosecutors and witnesses raises serious concerns about intimidation and harassment. It also heightened concerns about the comments made by political figures like Waters.