The Minneapolis police officer seen kneeling on the neck of an unarmed black man heard saying “I can’t breathe” multiple times before he died was a 19-year department veteran who was the subject of a dozen police conduct complaints that resulted in no disciplinary action.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, and three fellow officers were fired Tuesday from the Minneapolis Police Department, one day after the incident involving George Floyd, whose cries of physical pain were recorded on a cellphone video and whose death led to tense anti-police brutality protests overnight in Minnesota’s largest city.
To be the subject of a dozen complaints over a two-decade career would appear “a little bit higher than normal,” said Mylan Masson, a retired Minneapolis Park police officer and longtime police training expert for the state of Minnesota at Hennepin Technical College. He got out of the vehicle with a shotgun, and “several officers fired multiple shots,” killing Reyes, police said in a report. It is unclear what happened with the investigation, and Minneapolis police did not immediately respond to a request for Chauvin’s service record.
According to police, Ira Latrell Toles, 21, was holed up in a bathroom and tried to escape when Chauvin got inside. When Toles refused to obey Chauvin’s order to get down, police said, a struggle began and Toles grabbed for Chauvin’s weapon. Chauvin was recognized again in 2009 by the police department. Chauvin and other officers arrived at the scene, and while none of them fired their weapons, they were all placed on a standard three-day administrative leave as part of the investigation.
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