His name is known to everyone today and synonymous with anger.
The world still trembles. As of Monday, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American,
died dramatically after being arrested in Minneapolis. The video of his very violent arrest for a minor crime has gone viral. We see a white policeman tackle George Floyd on the ground and hold his knee for several minutes with force. “I can no longer breathe”, had begged, without response, George Floyd, now deceased. The policeman, now singled out all over the world, is Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old officer. On May 26, he and three other agents involved in the tragedy were dismissed. He is nevertheless the only one to have been
indicted on May 29 for manslaughter and “cruel and dangerous act leading to death”.
The subject of numerous complaints
This drama brought back to light the policeman’s troubled past. CNN reports that in 19 years of service, he has been the subject of 18 complaints. In the end, only one of them would have resulted in a letter of reprimand. Derek Chauvin was also allegedly involved in several shootings. A first in 2006, where he and five of his colleagues shot dead in his forties, a second in 2008 where he shot and injured a suspect during a domestic intervention and a last in 2011, where he and his patrol injured a suspect during a chase. The man in question died a few hours later. A Grand Jury then ruled that the use of force was justified.
He and his victim worked in the same establishment
Another surprising fact is that Dereck Chauvin and George Floyd may have known each other. They would both have worked in the same place, in a Minneapolis night club. The landlord also describes the police officer as someone violent, who was aggressive towards black customers. “He would hit every person who was involved in a fight instead of arresting them. And then he would call in reinforcements. Without realizing it, you had five or six police cars coming ashore,” she told Fox News. In total, Derek Chauvin worked as a security guard there for 17 years, alongside his job in the police. George Floyd was a bouncer at a dozen parties in 2019. For this reason, the former owner of the nightclub nevertheless explains that the two men are unlikely to have crossed paths.
Up to 35 years in prison
Today, the police officer faces up to 35 years in prison. He is incarcerated in a Minnesota prison and is subject to increased surveillance. Following the scandal, his wife has just filed for divorce. The latter also wished to support the family of the victim. “She is devastated by the death of Mr. Floyd and her greatest compassion goes to her family, loved ones and all those who mourn this tragedy,” said her lawyers.
For several days, George Floyd has become the symbol of a whole movement, “Black Lives Matter”, which is growing every day. All around the world, protests erupt with a clear message: stop racism.