Comedian Bill Maher used his recent episode of Real Time to take aim at Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is facing third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges for the death of George Floyd. As reported by Raw Story, Maher compared Floyd’s death to the death of Eric Garner and expressed amazement that such incidents continue to happen.
“It’s amazing to me that the police are still doing this when they’re on camera, when there’s a crowd filming them because we’ve been in this ‘we’ve caught bad cops on tape’ era now for almost a decade,” Maher said.
The 64-year-old political commentator later turned his attention to Chauvin. Although Maher acknowledged that he has personally known many police officers who are “very good people” and pointed to the difficulty of the profession, he suggested Chauvin was a reflection of the “wrong type” of police officer.
“You know, the one who is going to make up for high school. This guy seemed to have done this just because the crowd said ‘stop doing it,’ and he said ‘I’m not going to. I’m in charge.’ It’s always about recognizing my authority. The essence to me, of the police problem is: bad attitude.”
In video footage of the arrest, Floyd repeatedly told Chauvin he couldn’t breathe. In addition, bystanders noted that Floyd was not moving and appeared to be unconscious. Subsequent scrutiny of Chauvin’s career revealed that he had multiple previous complaints against him in the police department, as The Inquisitr reported.
He was also investigated for his role in the 2008 shooting of Ira Latrell Toles and the 2006 killing of Wayne Reyes. In addition, Chauvin and officer Terry Nutter were involved in a pursuit that led to the deaths of Darwin Vivar and Klevar Jacome.
Toles recently spoke to The Daily Beast and said that the Chauvin tried to murder him during the 2008 incident when Chauvin was called to his house over a domestic violence dispute. According to Toles, Floyd would still be alive if Chauvin was properly reprimanded for the 2008 shooting.
As reported by Insider, the use of force Chauvin employed on Floyd has been lambasted by use-of-force experts. Seth Stoughton, a former police officer who is now an associate professor at the University of South Carolina Law School, called the incident “horrific” and “infuriating,” noting that Chauvin’s actions were “blatantly inconsistent” with proper police procedure.
According to Insider, Minneapolis police officers are allowed to place their knee on a suspect’s neck to de-escalate a situation, but only if they have been properly trained to do so.