Cop Who Knelt on George Floyd Had Several Complaints

Derek Chauvin was cleared of wrongdoing, except for one letter of reprimand
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2020 10:52 AM CDT
Cop Who Knelt on George Floyd Had a Dozen Complaints
This undated handout photo shows George Floyd.   (Christopher Harris via AP)

The fired Minneapolis police officer seen in video footage kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who later died, had a prior history of violent encounters. Derek Chauvin, a white officer who joined the department in 2001, was involved in the fatal shooting of a man who'd stabbed two people in 2006, the Daily Beast reports via a database kept by Minneapolis' Communities United Against Police Brutality. A grand jury declined to charge the officers involved in 2008, the same year Chauvin shot and injured a man who'd allegedly reached for an officer's gun during a domestic-violence call, per NBC News. Then in 2011, he was one of five officers placed on leave following a shooting that wounded a Native American man, though he did not fire the bullet. The police chief decided the officers had acted appropriately.

There are seven complaints against Chauvin in Minneapolis' Office of Police Conduct database and another five in the city's Civilian Review Authority, which covers complaints prior to September 2012, the Daily Beast reports. All complaints are marked as resulting in "no discipline," though NBC reports Chauvin received a letter of reprimand. Six complaints against Tou Thao, another officer fired over the Floyd case, are also marked as resulting in no discipline, per the Daily Beast. One man accused Thao and other officers of excessive force during a 2014 arrest, in which he said he was punched, kicked, and kneed in the face and body. A 2017 lawsuit was ultimately settled out of court, a lawyer for the plaintiff tells the Daily Beast. "But seeing that horrific video [of Floyd] begs the question, 'What did the police do internally in response to the 2017 incident?'" he asks. (More George Floyd stories.)

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