Two of the Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s killing were previously involved in other violent on-duty incidents.
Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on the 46-year-old Floyd’s neck for nine minutes as he begged for his life, and Tou Thao had been the subjects of more than a dozen civilian complaints in their combined 29 years on the force, reported The Guardian.
Chauvin, a 19-year veteran, has faced three verbal reprimands, but a database by Minneapolis’ Communities United Against Police Brutality show both he and Thao, a 10-year veteran, never faced disciplinary action.
Four Minneapolis police officers responded to a call from a grocery store claiming Floyd had used a forged check, and he died a short time after the violent arrest.
All four officers were fired, and the city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, has asked prosecutors to charge them in Floyd’s death — which has sparked protests met with police violence.
“Seeing that horrific video begs the question: what did the police do internally in response to the 2017 incident?” said Seth Levanthal, an attorney who sued Thao over a violent 2017 arrest.
In that case, a man claims he was stopped by Thao and another officer while walking with his pregnant girlfriend, and he says the officers punched, kicked and kneed his face and body, and the suit was later settled out of court.
“What happened back in 2017 was a pretty serious incident [but] made no headlines at all,” Levanthal said.
Chauvin was among five officers placed on leave after they shot and wounded an indigenous man in 2011, and later that year Chauvin claimed another man reached for his gun to justify another officer’s shooting and wounding the man.
He was also one of the officers involved in the 2006 shooting death of a stabbing suspect.