NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea blasted Rep. Maxine Waters’ comments urging Minnesota protesters to "get more confrontational" as "incredibly reckless" — and said he has "even stronger feelings" he won’t air publicly.
The top cop was questioned on "Good Day New York" early Tuesday about the Democratic rep’s fiery comments over the weekend as she joined throngs of protesters against the police killing of Daunte Wright — and whether he thought her statements would incite violence in the Big Apple.
"I absolutely do," the top cop said. "I think it’s incredibly reckless. I do. I have even stronger feelings than that but I’ll keep them to myself."
"Why are you going to keep them to yourself, Commissioner?" host Rosanna Scotto asked Shea.
"We just had an officer having Molotov cocktails thrown at their car last week," he replied. "We had similar hate speech last year, and we had an officer sitting in his car shot across his face. We’ve seen this multiple times. For an elected official in this country to be advocating [for] getting tougher on cops at this time, is beyond me. I cannot repeat what I think."
Waters (D-Calif.) stood alongside demonstrators in Brooklyn Center early Sunday — breaking a curfew set by police — to encourage them to make their voices heard following the fatal shooting of Wright, and ahead of closing arguments in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.
"We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice," she urged the crowd, who earlier had been chanting, "No good cops in a racist system!," "F–k your curfew!" and "No justice, no peace!"
"We’re looking for a guilty verdict" in the Chauvin case, Waters said. "And if we don’t, we cannot go away, we’ve got to get more confrontational."
The judge in Chauvin’s murder trial, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, said Waters’ comments could lead to the whole case "being overturned."
Waters brushed off the criticism, arguing that "the judge says my words don’t matter."
She went on to blame Republicans for the outcry over her remarks.
Asked specifically about her comments, Waters claimed she was talking about "confronting the justice system" and "legislation."
"I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up," she said. "I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation."