Derek Chauvin: What we know about the officer at center of George Floyd's death

The 19-year veteran of Minneapolis police is under scrutiny.
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Derek Chauvin

The officer at the center of George Floyd's death has been identified as Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old who is a 19-year veteran with Minneapolis Police Department.

The office of lawyer Tom Kelly confirmed it is representing Chauvin, who has been identified as the officer who had his knee placed on the neck of Floyd, who was later confirmed dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Kelly represented Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who was acquitted in the 2016 killing of Philando Castile. Chauvin was fired on Tuesday along with three other officers.

Here's what we know as of Wednesday morning about the officer.

– He has been involved in three officer-involved shootings: that of Wayne Reyes in 2006, and Ira Latrell Toles in 2008, and Leroy Martinez in 2011.

– In the 2006 incident, Chauvin was one of six officers to fire a weapon in the death of Wayne Reyes. Police said Reyes pointed a sawed-off shotgun at officers after stabbing two people.

– In the Toles case, Chauvin shot and wounded Toles after the suspect tried to grab the officer's gun. Police had been called to a report of a home invasion.

– Martinez was shot in the torso after being chased by police at the Little Earth Housing Complex in south Minneapolis, with Chauvin one of the five officers involved.

– Pictures circulating online claiming to show Chauvin at a President Trump rally and wearing an offensive red cap are not accurate. 

The Pioneer Press reported that Chauvin had been given a medal of valor by the department in 2008 for an incident involving a man armed with a gun.

– In April 2005, Chauvin and Officer Terry Nutter were involved in a car chase when the suspect vehicle slammed a car containing Darwin Vivar, 28, and Klevar Jacome, 35, who died instantly. Another person in the car, Everett Vivar, 35, died a few days later.

Twin Cities journalist Tony Webster reports that Chauvin received two letters of reprimand in 2007, and was orally reprimanded in 2003 on multiple occasions for allegations of using a demeaning tone and derogatory language. A further seven complaints were made against him, with the cases closed with no action taken.

– He met his wife when he noticed her at a hospital when he brought suspect in for a health check before arrest, and returned to ask her out, according to the Washington Times. She said "under all that uniform, he’s just a softie."

– They live in Oakdale, joining the estimated 94 percent (in 2014) of Minneapolis police officers who live outside the city.

- This tweet lists the complaints filed against Chauvin and officer Tou Thao – who is the only other of the four officers involved in Floyd's death identified so far. This Star Tribune story details some of Thao's history. 

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