Officer fired after death of arrested black man subject of multiple complaints

A demonstrator walks up and down the police line blocking the street in front of fired Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin’s home in Oa Credit: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune/AP

A white police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man during an arrest was the subject of 17 complaints in his career.

Derek Chauvin, 44, has become the focus of protests and a federal investigation after he was caught on video with his knee on the neck of 46-year-old George Floyd during an arrest.

Mr Floyd, who was handcuffed and heard saying he could not breathe, was pronounced dead later on Monday.

Chauvin, whose driveway was splattered with red paint and the graffiti “murderer”, has not spoken publicly since Mr Floyd’s death and his lawyer did not respond to calls seeking comment.

He and the other three officers involved in Mr Floyd’s arrest were fired on Tuesday.

Minneapolis City Council records showed that Chauvin moonlighted as a bouncer at a downtown Latin nightclub and was among a group of six officers who opened fire on a stabbing suspect in 2006 after a chase that ended when the suspect pointed a sawn-off shotgun at them.

The suspect, Wayne Reyes, was hit multiple times and died, and a grand jury decided the use of force was justified.

Two years later, Chauvin shot Ira Latrell Toles as he was responding to a domestic dispute.

Amanuel Soquar stands outside the home of fired Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin Credit: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune/AP

Online city records also showed that 17 complaints have been filed against Chauvin during his 19-year service.

Sixteen complaints were closed with no discipline, and the remaining complaint generated two letters of reprimand, with one apparently related to the use of a squad car dashboard camera.

The records do not include any details on the substance of the complaints.

Less is known about the other three officers involved in Mr Floyd’s arrest.

Minneapolis braced for more violence after rioting over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody Credit: John Minchillo/AP

Online court records indicated the officer who stood guard at the scene, Tou Thao, was sued in federal court in 2017 for alleged excessive force.

According to the lawsuit, Lamar Ferguson claimed Mr Thao and his partner stopped him as he was walking to his girlfriend’s house in 2014 for no reason and beat him up. The city ultimately settled the lawsuit for 25,000 dollars (£20,000).

City records show six complaints have been filed against Mr Thao, five of which were closed with no discipline and one remains open.

Thomas Lane joined the force as a cadet in March 2019 according to online city records and no information about J. Alexander Kueng’s service history was immediately available.