Rep. Maxine Waters could have stayed in her car as California deputies stopped a Black driver Friday, but sitting idly by is not what makes her “Auntie Maxine.” The congresswoman who seldom delays in calling out her Republican peers or President Donald Trump himself for their thoughtless words and actions was seen in witness video explaining that she had to do something when she spotted the motorist. As a result, officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office attempted to motivate her to leave with the threat of a ticket, according to The Hill.
“They say I’m in the wrong place," Waters said in the video. "They’re going to give me a ticket, but that’s OK, as long as I watch them." A woman could be heard yelling to the congresswoman: "You gotta do what you gotta do," which garnered Waters' response: "I will."
One video of the incident attracted more than 651,000 views. Twitter user June Summer tweeted in response to the video: “That’s right, Ms Maxine! This is the Maxine Waters we know here in LA. She has ALWAYS been this active in the community. We love and protect her. always.” Another Twitter user, who goes by Jo Furious, responded to other comments accusing Waters of interfering with a police investigation. “It breaks my heart to see some of these comments in this thread. People are questioning WHY she had to stop & others are insinuating that she’s racist because it’s a black individual she’s stopping for.We have a long way to go,” she said in the tweet.
Waters, who has been a tireless advocate for criminal justice reform, recently spoke out about the death of Kalief Browder, a Black man. He was 22-years-old when he died by suicide after spending two years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island without having been convicted, only accused of stealing a backpack, according to The New Yorker. Waters said in an MSNBC interview that Browder’s story is “typical of so many young Black men and women who have been sent to jail, who have been convicted, who have served long sentences.
“I remember a time when we couldn’t use the word racism,” she added. “As a matter of fact, they would accuse us of playing the race card if we talked about racism, but I think now we have an opportunity for change. And for those who are resisting it, we’re going to run right over them.”