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Former Minneapolis Police Officer Had Numerous Complaints and a History of Violent Interactions

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Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Officer who was video recorded kneeling on the back of the neck of an unarmed black male before he died, was the subject of at least a dozen police conduct complaints over his 19-year career.

Chauvin along with three other officers were fired on Tuesday from the Minneapolis Police Department, one day after an incident with George Floyd. The incident, where Floyd could be heard crying for help, along with the words, “I can’t breathe” were captured by a witness’s cell phone video recording.

Experts have said that many times police officers will face complaints that will ultimate be found to have no basis or are easily dismissed as unfounded. Someone receives a speeding ticket or an arrest, so they file a complaint in retaliation. However, there are several major incidents in former Officer Chauvin’s history that seem to be troubling.

  • In 2006, Chauvin was one of six officers who responded to a stabbing. There was a pursuit with the suspect who was ultimately shot and killed. No charges were filed as a result of the shooting
  • Also in 2006, Chauvin was one of 8 officers named in an unrelated federal lawsuit by an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility. Court records were not immediately available. It appears the case was dismissed in 2007
  • In 2008, Chauvin was involved in another on duty shooting at a domestic violence call for service. In the initial report, Chauvin alleges the suspect reached and attempted to gain control of the officer’s service weapon. Chauvin then drew his weapon and fired. The suspect did survive the shooting.
  • In 2011, Chauvin responded to the scene of a shooting. Details are limited but he was placed on temporary leave as a result of this incident. (It is Standard Operating Procedure with most Departments to place individuals on paid temporary leave in the event they are actively involved in a shooting)

According to the Minneapolis Office of Police Conduct database Chauvin has also been the subject of complaints. Details of those cases were unavailable after they are closed and listed as “non-public.” All complaints have resulted in no disciplined action filed against Chauvin.

As of the time of this publication Minneapolis police have not publicly commented on any of the disciplinary incidents involving the former officer. The city is trying to recover after two days of protests that have turned into violent riots that have destroyed several businesses and resulted in at least one fatality.

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