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White Officer Who Knelt On George Floyd’s Neck Involved In Three Past Shootings

by : Julia Banim on : 27 May 2020 19:12
White Officer Who Kneeled On George Floyd's Neck Involved In Three Past ShootingsWhite Officer Who Kneeled On George Floyd's Neck Involved In Three Past ShootingsDarnella Frazier/Facebook

The police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck, and another officer who stood by and watched the incident unfold, have both apparently been previously investigated for their involvement in other use-of-force incidents.

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Officer Derek Chauvin, who is said to be the officer who pinned Floyd down by his neck until he lost consciousness, has reportedly been involved in multiple police-involved shootings over the course of his 19 years serving in the force.

Chauvin, 44, had apparently been under investigation in 2006 over a fatal police shooting, and went on to be investigated twice more for shootings in 2008 and 2011. Another officer, identified as Tou Thao, has previously been sued for using excessive force in 2017. Department officials have not yet officially identified the officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

As reported by the Star Tribune, Chauvin, 44, was one of six officers connected to the 2006 death of Wayne Reyes. Reyes, 42, was fatally shot after allegedly pulling a gun on the officers.

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In 2008, Chauvin was investigated for his involvement in the shooting of Ira Latrell Toles during a domestic assault call. Chauvin reportedly shot Toles in the abdomen after he went for one of the officers’s guns.

Chauvin was also among the officers involved in the shooting of 23-year-old Leroy Martinez, who was injured during a police chase in 2011, according to the MailOnline.

Police officer kneeling on man's neck during arrestPolice officer kneeling on man's neck during arrestDarnella Frazier/Facebook

The second officer, Thao, was reportedly part of a $25,000 out of court settlement after he was sued for the use of excessive force in 2017.

According to a lawsuit obtained by the MailOnline, Thao was accused of kicking and punching a suspect after he had already been handcuffed ‘until his teeth broke’.

The lawsuit states:

Defendant Thunder and Defendant Thao’s use of unreasonable force on Plaintiff, in the form of punches, kicks, and knees to the face and body while Plaintiff was defenseless and handcuffed, was so extreme that it caused Plaintiff to suffer broken teeth as well as other bruising and trauma.

The case was settled out of court for a sum of $25,000, with Thao stating he had punched the suspect because he had ‘actively resisted arrest’.

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Police officer involved in arrestPolice officer involved in arrestDarnella Frazier/Facebook

Footage taken Monday, May 25, shows George Floyd lying face-down on the ground during an arrest, while an officer kneels on his neck. Witnesses at the scene pleaded with him to stop, with one individual arguing that Floyd was not resisting arrest.

Onlookers begged officers to check Floyd’s pulse, but police did not move until medics arrived to carry Floyd to an ambulance. Minneapolis Police Department later confirmed Floyd had died at the hospital.

All four officers involved in Floyd’s death have since been fired and an investigation opened by the FBI.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota, Now, Police, Tou Thao, White Officer

Credits

Star Tribune and 2 others