Minnesota Prosecutors to Use Derek Chauvin’s History of Forcible Restraint Against Him in the George Floyd Murder Case
State prosecutors in Minnesota, who are working the case against the four police officers accused of killing George Floyd on May 25, filed a notice of intent last Thursday to cite eight other instances of forcible restraint as evidence against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, according to Law and Crime. Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in the death of Floyd. Former police officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kuengwere are also charged.
In a September court filing, Minnesota District Attorney Keith Ellison and Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank intend on introducing evidence of prior incidents involving restraint to prove Chauvin’s “knowledge; intent; common scene or plan; absence of a justifiable mistake, accident, misunderstanding; and state of mind at the time of the crime [against Floyd].”
The additional evidence the attorneys would like to introduce is in rebuttal to potential defense claims that Chauvin “did not intentionally assault Mr. Floyd in a manner inconsistent with training.”
Chauvin was caught on video keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
“Defendant placed one knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck and upper back area and shifted his body weight onto Mr. Floyd’s neck, rendering Mr. Floyd unconscious,” the filing states. “Defendant continued to restrain Mr. Floyd in this position beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances, causing Mr. Floyd’s death.”
The filings listed these eight cases to prove his penchant for using excessive force:
- On March 15, 2014, Defendant restrained an arrested male by placing his body weight on the male’s upper body and head area as the male laid in the prone position on the ground. Defendant reported that he used this restraint to control the male’s movements and to place the male in handcuffs.
- On February 15, 2015, Defendant restrained an arrested male by applying pressure to the male’s lingual artery below the male’s chin bone and pressing the male against a wall. Defendant then pulled the male to the ground, placed him in a prone position, and placed handcuffs on the male. Defendant kept the male handcuffed in the prone position until other officers arrived to aid him in placing the male in a squad car.
- On August 22, 2015, Defendant participated in rendering aid to a suicidal, intoxicated, and mentally-disturbed male. Defendant observed other officers fight with and tase the male. Defendant then observed other officers place the male in a side-recovery position, consistent with training. Defendant rode with the male to the hospital to receive medical care. Officers involved in the response received a commendation for their appropriate efforts and received feedback from medical professionals that, if officers had prolonged their detention of the male or failed to transport the male to the hospital in a timely manner, the male could have died.
- On April 22, 2016, Defendant restrained an arrested male by placing both of his hands around the male’s neck and applying pressure to both sides of the male’s neck. Defendant then forced the male backwards onto the sidewalk and handcuffed him. After Defendant placed the male in handcuffs, he stood the male up. Defendant’s actions resulted in a small crowd of concerned citizens to view Defendant’s actions. The male later complained of asthma, and paramedics were called to the scene.
- On June 25, 2017, Defendant restrained an arrested female by placing his knee on her neck while she laid in prone position on the ground. Defendant shifted his body weight onto the female’s neck and continued to restrain the female in this position beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.
- On September 4, 2017, Defendant detained an arrested juvenile by applying a neck restraint, flipping the juvenile on his stomach, and pinning him to the floor. Defendant continued to restrain the juvenile in this position beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.
- On March 12, 2019, Defendant detained an intoxicated male on the ground by applying a neck restraint on the male while sitting on the male’s lower back. Defendant continued to restrain the male in this position beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.
- On July 6, 2019, Defendant kicked an intoxicated male in the midsection and then applied a neck restraint on the male until the male was rendered unconscious. Defendant continued to restrain the male in this position beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.