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Derek Chauvin Trained New Officers Despite Receiving Complaints At Over Double The Rate Of Average Officers

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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  • Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin received complaints at over double the rate of the average officer on the force, according to records compiled by Communities United Against Police Brutality.
  • Lawyers for the two rookie police officers charged in connection to George Floyd’s death have pointed to Chauvin’s role as a training officer.
  • “Using such an officer for training is an indefensible practice,” CUAPB board member Dave Bicking told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin received complaints at over double the rate of the average officer on the force, according to data compiled by a Minnesota nonprofit that advocates against police brutality.

But despite Chauvin’s history of receiving complaints, lawyers for two of the police officers charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after video showed Chauvin kneeling on his neck for longer than eight minutes, have said that Chauvin served as a training officer.

“Using such an officer for training is an indefensible practice,” Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) board member Dave Bicking told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It just reinforces the culture that they claim to be trying to improve,” Bicking said. “While everyone claims to be opposed to police brutality, it actually serves the purposes of repression and control, particularly of people of color and other marginalized groups.”

The median number of complaints received by Minneapolis police officers between October 2012 and December 2019 is three, according to a CUAPB database of 2,875 complaints filed with the Minneapolis Office of Police Conduct Review.

Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Floyd’s death, received seven complaints in that same timeframe, according to the database.

“Yes, he was an outlier,” Bicking told the DCNF. (RELATED: Co-Worker: George Floyd And Derek Chauvin ‘Bumped Heads’ As Minneapolis Nightclub Bouncers)

Chauvin was the subject of a total of 17 complaints during his 19-year career with the MPD, only one of which was “closed with discipline” resulting in letters of reprimand filed against Chauvin, according to personnel records released last week by the department.

The contents of the complaints against Chauvin have not been made public by the MPD, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, save for one complaint in August 2007 in which a woman accused Chauvin and another police officer of pulling her from her car and frisking her after she was clocked going 10 mph over the speed limit. Chauvin’s tape recorder was turned off during the course of the stop, according to his personnel records.

Lawyers for Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, the two rookie police officers who have been charged with aiding and abetting in the killing of Floyd and could face 40 years in prison if convicted, have said in court that Chauvin bears the blame for Floyd’s killing, citing his status as the senior officer at the scene and as a training officer, according to The New York Times.

“He was relying on his training as a police officer and following the directions of a training officer. Chauvin was also a training officer,” Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, told NBC News.

Gray said Lane, who was holding Floyd’s legs as he was being pinned by Chauvin, suggested twice during the arrest that they should roll him over because he said he couldn’t breathe.

“Chauvin, the 20-year experience police officer, said, ‘No, he’ll be alright this way,'” Gray said.

“He’s extremely sorry,” Gray said. “He’s sorry the man died, but he doesn’t believe that he had, that he was the cause of the death. He was not the cause. I think he feels good about that, that he was the one that asked to roll him over.”

The MPD did not return a request for comment.

Correction: This post originally misstated the number of complaints filed against Chauvin. We regret the error.

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