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Lead Cop in Floyd Death, Derek Chauvin, Had Record of Overusing Restraints

 

rom left, former Minneapolis Police Officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, all of whom have been charged in the death of George Floyd.

From left, former Minneapolis Police Officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, all of whom have been charged in the death of George Floyd.(Associated Press)

September 12, 2020

(AP) MINNEAPOLIS — A white police officer accused in the death of George Floyd had used neck or head and upper-body restraints seven times before, including four incidents in which prosecutors say he went too far, according to documents released Friday in the case against four former Minneapolis officers charged in Floyd’s death.

In a July 2019 arrest, prosecutors say, Derek Chauvin kicked an intoxicated man in the midsection, then applied a neck restraint until he fell unconscious. In June 2017, Chauvin restrained a woman by placing his knee on her neck while she was prone, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said in those cases and in two others he held the restraints “beyond the point when such force was needed.”

The list of Chauvin’s arrests involving restraints was made public on the same day that he and three other former officers appeared in court for a hearing on the prosecution’s request for a joint trial, a defense request to move the trial, and other issues. Judge Peter Cahill took most issues under advisement.

Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck even as Floyd, who was in handcuffs, said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death was captured in widely seen bystander video that set off protests around the world. The officers were fired. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and other crimes; Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting.

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