Since last week many around the world have been outraged at the murder of George Floyd, a blackman in Minneapolis.
That anger shortly triggered anti-racist protests across America and beyond and have continued this week. George Floyd died shortly after he was pulled from his car by police officers during his arrest.
A white officer identified as Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for five minutes during an altercation. Floyd passed out after officers arrested him for allegedly trying to use forged documents at a local deli.
Video footage and CCTV taken during the altercation showed that Floyd appears to be complying with officers and not resisting the arrest.
44-year-old Derek Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with third degree murder.
Being charged with third degree murder means he did commit the crime without intent to kill, but with ‘perverse indifference.’
Held in prison with access to phone
Chauvin is being held at Oak Park Heights state prison, the highest custody level in the Minnesota corrections system.
“The move to DOC custody was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure he is safely held and after concern about space in the jail due to large numbers of arrests related to the unrest over the last few nights,” the state Department of Corrections said.
At that facility though he would have access to phones and video visitations. In-person visits are not allowed because of Covid-19 concerns.
Chauvin has been serving as a police officer for over 18 years and during these years he has been the subject of 18 internal complaints.
Among all those complaints none resulted in any serious penalties. According to a MPD internal affairs public summary only two of the 18 complaints were “closed with discipline. In both cases, Chauvin received a letter of reprimand.
Chauvin and George Floyd both worked as security at the El Nuevo Rodeo club, down the street from Minneapolis’ Third Precinct, former club owner Maya Santamaria told CNN.
Floyd worked some Tuesdays as extra security. Chauvin worked as an off-duty police officer for the club for nearly 17 years, Santamaria said.
“I wouldn’t characterize them as knowing each other,” she told CNN’s Josh Campbell in an interview. But, she added, “We all worked together certain nights and they would have crossed paths.”
Wife files for divorce
Chauvin’s wife has since his arrest filed for divorce, an attorney for his wife Kellie said.
“This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy.
She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin,” a statement from Sekula Family Law office read.
“While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time.”