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VP Candidate-Hopeful Klobuchar Failed To Prosecute Murderer Officer Derek Chavin In 2006

The Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, a former Democratic presidential candidate and possibly under consideration to be chosen as Joe Biden's 2020 Vice Presidential running mate, has faced backlash for what critics have called a tame demand for "a complete and thorough outside investigation", and is now being questioned on her record. Between 1999 and 2007, Klobuchar, the state's then top prosecutor, declined to press charges against more than a dozen officers accused of killing civilians.

In 2006, Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was one of several officers involved in the shooting death of a man who stabbed others before turning on the police.

Although Klobuchar was the Hennepin county attorney at the time of an October 2006 police shooting involving Chauvin, she did not prosecute and instead the case went to a grand jury that declined to charge the officers with wrongdoing in 2008.
 link to www.theguardian.com

George Floyd killing: two officers involved previously reviewed for use of force

Internal reviews of Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao's use of force resulted in no disciplinary action, database confirms

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A demonstrator holds a sign with an image of George Floyd during protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 27 May. Photograph: Christine T Nguyen/AP
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Kenya Evelyn in Washington
@LiveFromKenya

Thu 28 May 2020 11.50 EDT
Last modified on Thu 28 May 2020 17.20 EDT

Two Minneapolis police officers captured in video footage restraining George Floyd were previously involved in other violent incidents while on duty, according to a database that documents instances of police brutality.

Video footage showed Derek Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis police department, kneeling on 46-year-old Floyd's neck for nine minutes as he pleaded for his life. Floyd died following the encounter.

Officers had been responding to a call from a grocery store that claimed Floyd had used a forged check. The Minneapolis police department said Floyd "died a short time" after a "medical incident".

The FBI and state agencies in Minnesota have launched separate investigations. Four officers, including Chauvin, have been fired.

"Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?" Minneapolis' mayor, Jacob Frey, asked as he called for charges on Wednesday. "We cannot turn a blind eye, it is on us as leaders to see this for what it is and call it what it is."

Chauvin, who joined the force in 2001, had already been involved in several incidents, according to a database by Minneapolis' Communities United Against Police Brutality.

Chauvin was one of five officers who were placed on leave after they shot and wounded an indigenous man in 2011, the Daily Beast reported. Later that year, officers had been responding to a domestic violence call, and Chauvin claimed that the man reached for his gun. The man was shot (not by Chauvin, but by a different officer) and wounded. Authorities later determined that the officers had acted "appropriately".

The second officer, Tou Thao, is a 10-year veteran of the force. He was previously sued by a man who alleged he and two officers used excessive force during an 2014 arrest. The man, who had been walking along with his pregnant girlfriend, was stopped by Thao and another officer. The lawsuit alleged they "punch[ed], kick[ed] and kn[eed]" the man's "face and body" causing "broken teeth as well as other bruising and trauma". The lawsuit was settled out of court.

"Seeing that horrific video begs the question: what did the police do internally in response to the 2017 incident?" Seth Levanthal, an attorney in the suit, told the Daily Beast, adding that "what happened back in 2017 was a pretty serious incident" that "made no headlines at all".

Combined, the men have been the subject of more than a dozen civilian complaints, for which Chauvin has faced three verbal reprimands. The database confirmed that internal reviews of Chauvin and Thao's use of force by the Minneapolis police department resulted in no disciplinary action each time.

The Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, a former Democratic presidential candidate, has faced backlash for what critics have called a tame demand for "a complete and thorough outside investigation", and is now being questioned on her record. Between 1999 and 2007, Klobuchar, the state's then top prosecutor, declined to press charges against more than a dozen officers accused of killing civilians.

In 2006, Chauvin was one of several officers involved in the shooting death of a man who stabbed others before turning on the police.

Although Klobuchar was the Hennepin county attorney at the time of an October 2006 police shooting involving Chauvin, she did not prosecute and instead the case went to a grand jury that declined to charge the officers with wrongdoing in 2008.

As protests continued in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, Chauvin's past altercations have drawn additional scrutiny of the Minneapolis police department's handling of Floyd's death, and race relations with law enforcement in the state.

"This is what finally broke the camel, and now it's about to go down," one protester said during Tuesday night's demonstrations. "That could have been me, could have been my son. It's unjust, it just shouldn't be."

Campaign Zero, a social justice organization that maps police violence across the US, found that Minneapolis police kill black residents at a rate more than 13 times higher that of white people, one of the nation's largest racial disparities.

"Our community continues to be traumatized again, and again and again. We must demand answers," the city councilwoman Andrea Jenkins said in a statement to Kare.

Law enforcement officials in Minnesota have come under fire for police-involved deaths of minorities and the rarity with which they are prosecuted.

Large-scale protests last erupted in the state in 2016, when 32-year-old Philando Castile, who was black, was shot and killed by a St Anthony police officer during a traffic stop. Footage of the incident also went viral but the officer, four-year-veteran Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted.

One police-involved shooting in Minnesota that did result in a conviction only added to the claims of racial bias in state laws. In 2017, Mohamed Noor, a Somali American police officer, shot and killed an unarmed white woman after responding to her 911 call.

Noor was convicted of third-degree murder in April 2019, the first police officer in the state to be convicted in decades.

Chauvin has retained Tom Kelly as his lawyer. Kelly is a prominent defense attorney who represented Yanez. Kelly did not return requests for comment.

In 2016, the Minneapolis police department revised its policies to require officers intervene or report whenever they witness another officer engaging in excessive force. The three other officers involved in responding to the forgery call were fired under this revision.

This article was amended on 28 May 2020 to clarify Klobuchar did not prosecute and the case went to a grand jury that declined to charge the officers with wrongdoing in 2008.

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