Videos of eyewitnesses to the act show three police officers brutally fixing the 46-year-old African American George Floyd, who was already handcuffed, to the ground.
The 46-year-old restaurant employee was only arrested for a small alleged crime: he is said to have used a fake $ 20 bill to make a purchase. One of the police officers, Derek Chauvin, knelt on the victim’s neck. Despite Floyd’s recurring cries for help, he didn’t stop. Floyd died in the hospital of the aftermath of the incident.
Charges against Chauvin intensified – three police officers arrested and charged with complicity
Chauvin and three other police officers were released because of this. At first, only Chauvin was arrested and officially held responsible by the investigative authorities for the death of the African American. Among other things, the investigators accused him of homicide.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota state attorney’s office also charged and arrested the three police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest for complicity. The charges against Chauvin have also been tightened. Among other things, he now has to answer for a second degree murder, which means up to 40 years in prison.
Everything important about the George Floyd case can be read in the FOCUS Online news ticker
18 years policeman, 18 internal complaints against Derek Chauvin
Chauvin worked for the Minneapolis Police Department in the US state of Minnesota for 18 years. And there were exactly 18 internal complaints against the police during this time, reports CNN. However, only two of the 18 complaints would have consequences for Chauvin: The US police officer had received a letter of reference.
But not only the police in Minneapolis have collected complaints against Chauvin. The US nonprofit organization “Communities Against Police Brutality” has created a database of complaints against officials in Minnesota. According to the CNN, Chauvin has received several verbal reprimands for the use of a “degrading tone” or “degrading language”.
However, as CNN further reports, neither the Minneapolis Police Internal Investigation Agency nor the database released details such as data or descriptions of Chauvin’s actions.
Chauvin and Floyd worked in a night club at the same time
And another detail in Chauvin’s résumé is startling. The US policeman and his African-American victim worked for a while in the same nightclub in Minneapolis. The owner of the bar “El Nuevo Rodeo Club”, Maya Santamaria, told CNN that Chauvin – in addition to working for the police – had worked for her as a security guard for 17 years.
George Floyd was also employed by her for a while – also as a security guard. You don’t think the two know each other well. But there were definitely nights when they should have run into each other. Santamaria said she could not believe that Chauvin did not have the humanity to listen to “this poor man” who “pleaded for his air to breathe and his life”.
“Floyd was popular with the Latinos”
According to Santamaria, Floyd was not noticed negatively. He was a “sweet guy with a lot of charisma”, she told the portal “AS”, that he had always greeted her with “Hi lady boss”. In addition, he was “very popular” in the Latino community, said the former nightclub owner.
Wife has now filed for divorce
Similar thoughts made Chauvin’s wife Kellie file for divorce. Local broadcaster “CBS Minnesota” quotes the woman’s lawyer: “She is horrified by Mr. Floyd’s death. She has great sympathy with his family and loved ones and with everyone else who grieves for him. ”The married couple have no children together.
There had been peaceful protests at the couple’s home in Windmere, Florida, after rumors that Chauvin had fled to Florida from Minnesota to hide. The local police said that he was not at home and was not planning to come. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested in Minnesota.
Chauvin is now under custody at the Oak Park Heights State Prison in Minnesota. He was charged with murder and manslaughter, the district attorney in charge, Mike Freeman, said at a press conference on Friday. He expects the three other officials involved in the incident to be charged as well. However, this is still being investigated.
Also read on: “Inhale racism”: German politician says why Floyd’s death concerns us all