In the wake of the Monday death of George Floyd, protests have erupted in the city and a national outcry has persisted. Floyd was the black man who was pronounced dead while in custody after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes during an arrest.
On Thursday, the service record of that officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, was further called into question when another Minneapolis man said that Chauvin nearly killed him in 2008.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Ira Latrell Toles identified Chauvin as the same police officer who, 12 years earlier, had entered his home while responding to a domestic violence call and subsequently attacked him in a bathroom before shooting him in the stomach.
Toles said he hadn’t immediately recognized Chauvin when video footage of the MPD’s botched arrest of Floyd went viral. Later, though, the 33-year-old made the connection when Chauvin was identified by the media. At that point, he sent a text message to his sister, who confirmed that Chauvin was indeed the same officer that had shot him.
He went on to recount the events that would leave him with a permanent hole in his stomach.
“When I saw that he breached the front door, I ran in the bathroom,” Toles recounted to The Daily Beast. “Then [Chauvin] starts kicking in that door. I was in the bathroom with a cigarette and no lighter.
“All I could do is assume it was the police because they didn’t announce themselves or ever give me a command,” he said, after admitting that the mother of his child had called the police on him that night. “I didn’t know what to think when he started hitting me. I swear he was hitting me with the gun.”
Per a Twin Cities Pioneer Press report on the incident, Chauvin then fired into Toles’ torso. MPD later claimed that Toles had attempted to reach for an officer’s weapon. In his Daily Beast interview, Toles defended his actions.
“I would assume my reaction would be to try to stop him from hitting me,” he said. “He tried to kill me in that bathroom.”
Following the 2008 incident with Toles, Chauvin was put on administrative leave, but was later allowed to return to active duty. Now, Toles wonders if Floyd’s life might have been spared if Chauvin had been punished more severely back then.
“If he was reprimanded when he shot me, George Floyd would still be alive,” Toles asserted, while also relaying that his own brush with Chauvin had left him certain that the MPD officer would “do something again.”
As reported previously by The Inquisitr, four police officers were fired by MPD as a result of Floyd’s death. Per The Daily Beast, they were later identified as Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao.