Two Minneapolis residents filed federal lawsuits against Derek Chauvin on Tuesday (May 31) over multiple excessive force incidents dating back to 2017 that went unchecked by the Minneapolis Police Department.
The lawsuits argue that the Minneapolis Police Department's inaction on Chauvin's behavior back then allowed the former police sergeant to continue his violence for years before he murdered George Floyd in May 2020.
Both lawsuits claim that Chauvin targeted the plaintiffs because of their race and that they each had their Fourth Amendment rights violated during the incidents. Each case alleges civil rights violations on the part of the City of Minneapolis, too, according to The Hill.
One lawsuit was filed on behalf of John Pope who was 14 years old when Chauvin allegedly beat him with a flashlight at least four times before the officer drove his knee into the teen's neck for an estimated 15 minutes. Pope lost consciousness as a result and had to receive medical treatment. The lawsuit names at least eight other officers who were at the scene and witnessed Chauvin's actions.
"Each of these individuals had the opportunity, and indeed the duty, to intervene and stop Defendant Chauvin's unlawful use of force against John. None did," the lawsuit states in part.
The second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Zoya Code who accused Chauvin of kneeling on the back of Code's neck for nearly five minutes during a June 2017 incident. Chauvin "gratuitously slammed" Code's head to the ground before kneeling on her neck in what both lawsuits refer to as Chauvin's "signature pose." Another officer and the City of Minneapolis are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
"The MPD embraced a militaristic culture where unnecessary drama often was injected into situations by officers," both lawsuits state.
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