Minneapolis has now paid more than $35 million because of Derek Chauvin’s excessive force
Newly released videos show former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the necks of two handcuffed suspects years before he did the same to George Floyd.
The edited videos were made public Thursday after the Minneapolis City Council voted to settle two civil rights lawsuits for nearly $9 million.
John Pope will be paid $7.5 million. The city settled with Zoya Code for nearly $1.4 million.
They accused Chauvin of excessive force during separate incidents in 2017.
Their attorney, Bob Bennett, released edited body camera footage shortly after the settlements were approved.
The video shows Chauvin hit Pope twice in the head with a flashlight, choked him until he lost consciousness and then knelt on the back of his neck for 15 minutes. Pope was 14 years old at the time.
“I think it shows a culture and a pattern of behavior that is approved within the department,” Pope said in an interview with 5 INVESTIGATES. “That if it’s not shown publicly, or not posted, that they can hide it or keep it to themselves.”
Months before Pope’s arrest, Chauvin dragged Code by her wrists, pushed her face into the ground and then put his knee on the back of her neck for several minutes.
Bennett said Chauvin lied about his use of force, a pattern inside MPD 5 INVESTIGATES exposed in 2020.
“It’s not just Chauvin, it’s the officers who turn away,” he said. “It’s the officers who didn’t report him, it’s the officers who didn’t intervene.”
The city confirmed supervisors reviewed and approved of his use of force at the time.
“The supervisors that were involved should have made sure that he was held accountable in 2017,” Mayor Jacob Frey said at a press conference after the settlements were approved.
Both videos are strikingly similar to the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck in 2020. Floyd’s death sparked international outrage and ultimately led to Chauvin’s murder conviction.
The city also settled with Floyd’s family for more than $27 million in 2021.
Chauvin later pleaded guilty to federal charges that he violated Pope’s constitutional rights during the incident in 2017.
The videos released Thursday are likely part of the ongoing probe by the Department of Justice into the Minneapolis Police Department.
“We are dealing with the ugly consequences stemming from the systemic failure within the Minneapolis Police Department that has allowed for — and at times has encouraged — unjust and brutal policing,” Chief Brian O’Hara said.