17 Complaints Against Derek Chauvin in 19 Years On Force

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, shot one suspect, was involved in the fatal shooting of another, and received at least 17 complaints during his nearly two decades with the department, the Washington Post reports. Chauvin was fired and arrested after video emerged showing him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. A summary of the complaints against Chauvin posted by the police department offers no information on why they were filed. Sixteen of the complaints were closed without discipline. The remaining complaint resulted in two letters of reprimand against Chauvin.

Complaints against officers can range from issues such as showing up late for duty to severe offenses such as using excessive force. Ronal Serpas, a former head of police in New Orleans, Nashville and Washington state, said, “It’s a little unusual to have essentially one [complaint] a year for 19 years,” Serpas said. “It would certainly catch my attention.” Chauvin and Floyd’ both worked security at El Nuevo Rodeo, a Latin night club. Former owner Maya Santamaria  described Chauvin as a “nice guy” who was “always mellow” around her, but said he was also “tightly wound.” Chauvin was hired by the department in 2001. Earlier in his career, Chauvin was involved in multiple incidents in which he or other officers used fatal force. In 2006, he was one of six officers on the scene when Minneapolis police shot and killed a stabbing suspect. Two years later, Chauvin opened fire on a man while responding to a domestic disturbance call. Serpas, noted that the vast majority of police go their entire careers without firing their service weapons, but he said Chauvin may have faced a different set of circumstances as a longtime patrol officer that required him to use his gun.

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