Derek Chauvin: Who Is The Police Officer Seen Kneeling On George Floyd’s Neck?

A photograph of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin..
Darnella Frazier / Facebook

Derek Chauvin is the Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer depicted in the media kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, who eventually died of his injury. In the videos of the incident, which has sparked protests in the City of Lakes, Chauvin is seen keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes. Floyd pleaded with officers and claimed he wasn’t able to breathe.

Floyd’s death has led to a public outcry, and his sister, Bridgett, believes that Chauvin and the other officers should be charged with murder. The incident prompted the firing of the four Minneapolis officers involved, including Chauvin. The decision was announced by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on Tuesday and supported by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Chauvin was arrested on the morning of May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for which he could face 10 to 15 years in prison if convicted. The former police officer is currently on suicide watch at Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul.

Since his arrest, his wife, Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce.


Chauvin Has Worked For Minneapolis Police Since 2001

As reported by TwinCities.com, Chauvin began his stint with the Minneapolis Police Academy in October of 2001. Throughout his career, he has held positions in the first, third, and fourth precincts, as well as the water works security detail. In 2008, he was awarded a department medal of valor for his role in responding to an incident involving an armed man.

As Heavy reported, Chauvin’s time in the police department is linked to dozens of complaints, which are listed in the Minneapolis police database. However, all of the complaints are listed as “non-public” and “no discipline,” and the nature of the incidents is not clear.


He Was Investigated For His Role In A 2008 Shooting

The Daily Mail reported that Chauvin was investigated for his involvement in the 2008 shooting of Ira Latrell Toles, who was wounded during a domestic assault call. Chauvin reportedly broke into Toles’ apartment along with another officer. After an alleged pursuit, Chauvin and the other officer reportedly caught and attempted to subdue Toles before the suspect allegedly made an attempt to grab an officer’s gun. It was at this point that Chauvin reportedly shot Toles in the torso.


He Was Involved In The 2006 Killing Of Wayne Reyes

Chavin was involved in the 2006 incident that led to the death of Wayne Reyes. According to the Star Tribune, he and five other officers responded to a stabbing call. After arriving at the scene, the suspect allegedly pulled a shotgun on six officers — including Chavuin — before he was shot and killed. The case was mentioned in a report called “Stolen Lives in Minnesota: People Who Have Lost Their Lives Through Encounters with Law Enforcement Authorities,” which was written by Communities United Against Police Brutality, a Minneapolis-based police watchdog nonprofit.

“While we strive for accuracy, we often have to rely on media accounts that endeavor to justify all deaths at the hands of law enforcement,” the report reads.

The same report claims that Chauvin and fellow officer Terry Nutter slammed into the vehicle of Darwin Vivar and Klevar Jacome, killing them instantly.


His Wife Called Him A ‘Gentleman’ And A ‘Softie’ In A 2018 Profile

A 2018 Crookston Times article profiled Chauvin’s wife, Kellie, who was crowned Mrs. Minnesota America the following year. She was born in the Southeast Asian country of Laos before fleeing to a Thai refugee camp and eventually moving to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. According to the profile, Kellie met her husband in 2010 while working at a Hennepin County, Minnesota, emergency room, where Chauvin brought someone in for a check-up.

“Under all that uniform, he’s just a softie. He’s such a gentleman. He still opens the door for me, still puts my coat on for me. After my divorce, I had a list of must-haves if I were ever to be in a relationship, and he fit all of them.”

The pair was married for eight years at the time of the profile.