MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck before he died Monday has a history of prior complaints, according to several reports.
People around the world are calling for justice in the Floyd case after a 10-minute video of the altercation circulated online. The video shot by a bystander shows Officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck while the man gasped for breath with his face against the pavement. He was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Chauvin spent 19 years with the Minneapolis Police Department. But on Tuesday, he and three other officers were fired for their part in Monday’s altercation which left Floyd dead.
WCCO and the Star Tribune report that Chauvin has been involved in multiple officer-involved shootings over his career and he has been put on leave at least once.
One of the incidents was in 2011, when Chauvin and four other officers were involved in a police shooting in Little Earth. WCCO reports that the officers were responding to a shooting and when the suspect fled, police shot him in the torso. The department said the officers acted “appropriately and courageously.”
In 2008, Chauvin shot and wounded 21-year-old Ira Latrell Toles during a domestic disturbance call, the Pioneer Press reports. When Toles refused to obey orders to get down, a struggle began, and police say the suspect grabbed Chauvin’s weapon. The officer then reportedly fired at Toles twice, hitting him in the abdomen.
And in 2006, Chauvin was reportedly one of five officers who responded to a stabbing that ended with police shooting and killing a suspect. The suspect, 42-year-old Wayne Reyes, allegedly pulled a shotgun on the officers before being fatally shot, according to the Communities United Against Brutality, a police watchdog nonprofit in Minneapolis.
Chauvin is being represented by attorney Tom Kelly, who also represented St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in 2017. In that case, Yanez was acquitted in the death of Philando Castile, a black man he shot and killed during a traffic stop.
Since Monday’s altercation that left Floyd dead, Chauvin and the three other officers involved have been fired from the police department. Many, including Mayor Jacob Frey, say termination isn’t enough. They’re calling for charges to be filed against the officers for their roles in Floyd’s death.