Maxine Waters, Joy Reid Compare Roger Stone's Clemency to Kalief Browder's Death: 'This Justice System Is Broken'

California Congresswoman Maxine Waters said President Donald Trump's pardon of Roger Stone and his supporters' criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement showed there are truly two separate systems of justice in the United States.

Waters and MSNBC host Joy Reid on Sunday compared the president's commutation of Stone's 40-month sentence for several federal convictions to the case of Kalief Browder, who spent three years in New York's Rikers Island without trial before ultimately committing suicide in June 2015.

The Democratic congresswoman said Stone's clemency is just another "in-your-face, brazen" move from a president who knows he's not accountable to Senate Republicans.

Waters said the president and his supporters believe they have a right to "ensure that Blacks and people of color do not rise to any level of influence and power."

.@RepMaxineWaters on the tragic death of Kalief Browder and the importance of and growing support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. #AMJoy pic.twitter.com/bFzA4FSnpJ

— AM Joy on MSNBC (@amjoyshow) July 12, 2020

"[The Senate Republicans] have literally been intimidated, they've been complicit, they've allowed this president to defy us, the Constitution and everything else. This brazenness, in-your-face, this is the way the president has defined himself and Roger Stone is laughing at all of us," Waters said Sunday on AM Joy.

"I think you said it earlier today when you talked about this need for Trump and those who support him to want to have absolute power and to believe that it is their right and their responsibility to ensure that Blacks and people of color and others do not rise to any level of influence and power, significant that would cause them not to be in total charge of the country," she continued.

The two discussed how Stone was able to walk free in the same country where 16-year-old Browder was forced into solitary confinement for years before killing himself upon release from Rikers Island — all of which occurred over a charge Browder stole a backpack.

"Roger Stone found guilty by a jury on seven federal criminal counts, no jail time," Reid said Sunday. "Kalief Browder, accused of stealing a backpack couldn't post bail ... We have two justice systems in our country. This is the reason that the Black Lives Matter movement has taken hold, that there are two systems of justice for the rich, the poor, the white, the Black."

Waters agreed, calling Trump's pardon of Stone "absolutely outrageous" and clear-cut evidence of circular corruption within the White House.

"That young man [Browder] 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. This justice system is broken. It has never really been in our favor, and it has basically been responsible for ensuring that we could never ever get beyond this suppression and this oppression that has been forced upon us for so many years.

"So those who criticize Black Lives Matter, Waters continued, "they can continue to do that, but I want to tell you the time has come now where we are joined by so many others who really were not there for us in the past."

During an interview played on the segment, Stone said he would like "to win a new trial and vindication," given that he was not exonerated of the crimes in which he was convicted.

Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, told Reid Saturday morning Stone knew he was going to be pardoned by Trump.

"That's why Roger Stone has been walking around with the same 'my daddy owns your daddy' smirk since 1976," Mystal said of Stone.

Both Waters and Reid noted the Black Lives Matter movement has gathered a diverse range of white, Black, Asian, old and young supporters in recent years as the country's separate justice systems have been exposed.

Newsweek reached out to Waters' California congressional office and the White House for comments Sunday afternoon.

maxine waters joy reid stone
Waters said the president and his supporters believe they have a right to "ensure that blacks and people of color do not rise to any level of influence and power." Screenshot: MSNBC | AM Joy