Wife of USA police officer arrested over George Floyd’s death files for divorce (all you need to know)

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Derek Chauvin and his Asian wife
Derek Chauvin and his Asian wife
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The “devastated” wife of the police officer arrested over George Floyd’s death has publicly announced that she is leaving him immediately.

The wife of the Minneapolis cop who was seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck before he died has filed for divorce.

A statement issued to media by Derek Chauvin’s wife’s lawyer reads: “This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin,” reads the statement released by Sekula Law Offices.

“While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time,” the statement continued.

The personal news comes after it has emerged Chauvin was involved in three police shootings during his 19 years on the job — and has been the subject of multiple conduct complaints that resulted in no disciplinary action, according to reports.

Derek Chauvin and his Asian wife
Derek Chauvin and his Asian wife

Chauvin and three other police officers involved in Mr Floyd’s arrest have been fired as protests rage across the United States.

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter after enough evidence was gathered to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said on Friday.

An initial video of Mr Floyd’s arrest showed him being pinned to the ground by Chauvin, who knelt on his neck for more than 10 minutes.

Mr Floyd, 46, can be heard telling the officer, “I can’t breathe”, before he loses consciousness.

But another video which has been circulating on social media appears to show multiple officers were on the ground with Floyd as he was arrested.

The video, verified by NBC News, looks to have been filmed from the opposite side of the street and just prior to the initial video.

It shows three officers on top of Floyd, while another stands nearby.

Minneapolis police have identified the police officers involved as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.

WHO IS DEREK CHAUVIN?

In 2006, Derek Chauvin was one of six officers who responded to a stabbing, according to Insider, which cited a 2016 report from the Minnesota activist group Communities United Against Police Brutality.

Wayne Reyes, who was suspected of stabbing his girlfriend and a friend, was shot dead when he pointed a shotgun at the officers from his truck, according to the report.

It was unclear during the initial probe which officers fired their weapons, NBC News reported.

Following protocol, all of the officers — including Chauvin — were put on paid leave during the probe, the outcome of which was unclear. Police did not respond to the network’s request for Chauvin’s service record.

Also in 2006, Chauvin and seven other cops were named in an unrelated federal lawsuit filed by an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility. The case was dismissed without prejudice the following year, NBC News reported.

In 2008, Chauvin responded to a 911 domestic assault call, according to the Pioneer Press of St Paul.

Chauvin and his partner entered the home, where they confronted Ira Latrell Toles, 21, who was holed up in a bathroom. Toles tried to flee when Chauvin got inside and reportedly tried to grab the cops gun during a scuffle. The officer fired twice, hitting Toles in the stomach, but he survived, the news outlet reported.

Chauvin and his unnamed partner were placed on paid leave during an investigation, also according to standard protocol, according to NBC News.

Earlier in 2008, Chauvin was awarded a medal of valour for “his response in an incident involving a man armed with a gun,” the Pioneer Press reported, and was recognised again in 2009 by the department.

In 2011, Chauvin was again placed on temporary leave after he responded with other officers to reports of a shooting.

Leroy Martinez, 23, was spotted running from the scene while brandishing a handgun and the officers gave chase, according to local reports. Terry Nutter, one of the cops, shot Martinez.

An eyewitness challenged the police’s claim that Martinez was holding a gun when he was shot, according to Insider, which cited a report in the Star Tribune.

Delora Iceman told the Star Tribune that Martinez had dropped the pistol and held his arms in the air before cops gunned him down.

Chauvin, who did not fire his gun, and the other cops were placed on a standard three-day administrative leave during the investigation.

Then-police chief Tim Dolan later said the officers, including Chauvin, “acted appropriately and courageously,” NBC News reported.

Chauvin also has been the subject of multiple internal complaints, according to a database compiled by Communities United Against Police Brutality.

CNN reports 18 complaints were filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs.

In three reviews from the Civilian Review Authority, he was found to have used “demeaning tone,” “derogatory language” and “language – other,” according to Insider.

He also has been the subject of seven reviews by the local Office of Police Conduct — all of which conclude: “Closed — No discipline”.

No other details were available on any of the cases.

Meanwhile, another officer seen in the Floyd video — Tou Thao — was also the subject of the lawsuit and settled an excessive-force lawsuit out of court in 2017, according to Insider.

Lamar Ferguson was walking with a pregnant woman in 2014 when Thao and his partner Robert Thunder stopped and searched them, according to the lawsuit.

The cops then began beating Ferguson, according to the legal filings.

Ferguson was subjected to “punches, kicks, and knees to the face and body” while “defenseless and handcuffed” — and suffered “broken teeth as well as other bruising and trauma”.

Thao said in a deposition that he arrested Ferguson because of an outstanding warrant, adding that he punched the suspect when one of his hands slipped out of the handcuffs and he resisted arrest, according to a Star Tribune report.

Parts of this article originally appeared on the New York Post and have been republished with permission.

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