Officers of color barred from guarding or interacting with Derek Chauvin in jail: lawsuit

Eight minority corrections officers are suing their employer after they were allegedly barred from guarding or having any other contact with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin while he was incarcerated at the Ramsey County Jail, the Star Tribune reports.

Chauvin has been charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

According to the Tribune, "all officers of color" were ordered to a separate floor on the day Chauvin arrived at the jail. A supervisor reportedly forbade a Black sergeant from bringing Chauvin to his cell solely because of their race, the lawsuit states. The officers in question identify as Black, Hispanic, and Pacific-Islander.

"Credibility is critical to maintaining safety in a jail environment," according to the lawsuit filed by Minneapolis attorney Lucas Kaster. The "segregation order tarnished [the officers'] credibility and reputation and prohibited them from completing their job duties professionally."

Additionally, two officers say they witnessed a white colleague being granted "special access" to Chauvin's cell where she sat on his bunk and let him use her cellphone -- which the Tribune says is a "significant policy violation."