California Representative Maxine Waters was caught on camera this week pulling over when she saw a Black constituent in the middle of a stop by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies.
“They stopped a brother, so I stopped to see what they were doing,” Waters said in the video, posted to Twitter by user Exavier Pope. It appeared from the video that the deouties told her she was parked illegally, but Waters was not deterred.
The longtime congresswoman received plaudits for being “the very definition of a public servant” and a “queen.”
Waters Apparently Got Out of Her Car When She Saw the Stop in Progress, Telling Deputies They Could Give Her a Ticket If They Needed To
In the video, Waters gets out of her car and talks to bystanders filming her, apparently near the traffic stop she stopped to observe.
“They say I’m in the wrong place and they’re gonna give me a ticket, and that’s OK,” Waters says. “As long as I can watch them.”
The bystanders then tell Waters, “You gotta do what you gotta do, make sure!”
“I will,” Waters replies.
The video was posted around 5:30 p.m. on July 19.
Exavier Pope, who posted the video, said in Tweet, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters making sure the brother pulled over is having his rights protected. Queen!”
“I’ve watched this like 100 times,” he later added. “This is the very definition of a public servant … 81 very spry and ain’t-tired-yet years old! God bless.”
Huffington Post editor Phillip Lewis also applauded Waters: “A reminder that Maxine Waters is 81 years old and is as lively as ever,” he said.
Republican Omar Navarro, who launched two failed runs for Waters’ seat, attacked the congresswomen for the video, though, claiming Waters is a “racist.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Did Not Sound Thrilled With Waters After the Incident
Juanita Navarro-Suarez, a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told Heavy that deputies had stopped a pedestrian as part of a burglary investigation around 8:30 a.m. near 119th Street and Budlong Avenue in Los Angeles.
Navarro-Suarez said the “female driver in an unrelated vehicle” pulled up, blocking a traffic lane. Waters than began to yell at the deputies, she said.
“She was advised by the deputies [that] she was obstructing traffic and to pull over legally to park, which she refused to do,” according to Navarro-Suarez. Waters can be heard in the video saying that the deputies can ticket her if they want, but Navarro-Suarez said, “she was warned and advised of the violation and free to leave.”
The person that was initially stopped was eventually free to leave as well, Navarro-Suarez said.
Heavy was unable to reach anyone in either of Waters’ congressional offices for comment Monday.
Since the Death of George Floyd, Waters Has Spoken Out on Police Brutality on the House Floor
Waters has been outspoken on police brutality since her earliest years in Congress, including leading a chant of, “No justice, no peace,” at a protest following the 1993 Rodney King verdict in Los Angeles.
Before the House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act on June 25, Waters declared her solidarity with protesters nationwide, raging over the police killing of Floyd and other unarmed Black men.
“This brutality and all this police violence against Black men and women has been used for centuries to terrorize, subjugate and silence the Black community,” Waters said. “I’d like to thank Black Lives Matter: uncompromising, disruptive, energetic and dedicated to ending police killings and abuse … And to the protesters, I stand with you. No justice, no peace.”
In June, Waters had strong words for police officers who brutalize Black men, too. Commenting on the death of Rayshard Brooks at the hands of police in Atlanta, she called it a “senseless and needless killing by a murderous cop.”
“Police reform is not enough,” she added. “Getting rid of serial, racist, ignorant and stupid cops must be a top priority. Let’s call them out. Police protective unions, you’ve got to go, too.”