The identities of at least two of the 4 cops involved in the death of an African American man, George Floyd, have been revealed and one of the officers, the one who knelt on George’s neck, is being termed a racist after a photo of him wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat emerged.
Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, is seen kneeling on George’s neck in a video shared online. The video was almost 10 minutes long and for most of it, Derek had his knee in George’s neck even as the Black man continually complained that he couldn’t breathe.
As Derek Chavin – a 19-year veteran of the force – knelt on George’s neck, two other officers held George down by his stomach and legs.
Even after George started bleeding from his nose and became unconscious, Derek didn’t stop kneeling on his neck.
New photos of Derek with the “Make Whites Great Again” hat has now led social media users to say that he has always been a racist and saw George, a Black man, as an ”animal.”
This is not Derek Chauvin’s first time harming a civilian. In 2008, Chauvin shot and wounded Ira Latrell Toles during a domestic assault call. According to a 2011 article from the Pioneer Press, Chauvin and other officers showed up to an apartment in south Minneapolis just before 2 a.m. Toles grabbed for an officer’s gun and Chauvin shot him in the abdomen.
Also, in 2006, Chauvin and five others responded to a stabbing. After Wayne Reyes, 42, allegedly pulled a shotgun on the officers, one of the officers shot and killed Reyes, according to a report titled “Stolen Lives” from Communities United Against Police Brutality, a police watchdog nonprofit based in Minneapolis.
Another officer who is being called out online is an Asian American cop who stood by during the assault on George Floyd and exchanged words with bystanders who told them to free George. His name is Tou Thao.
This is also not Thao’s first time of being accused of police brutality. In 2017, a man named Lamar Ferguson sued Thao and another officer, Robert Thunder, for excessive use of force. According to the lawsuit, Ferguson and a woman, who was eight months pregnant, were walking home when Thao and Thunder stopped and searched them without cause. The officers handcuffed Ferguson, and Thao threw him to the ground and began punching him, while Thunder kicked him, according to the allegations.
The officers took Ferguson to the hospital for medical treatment. Afterward, they escorted Ferguson to jail wearing only his underwear and T-shirt, rejecting hospital staff’s requests that he be allowed to fully dress, according to the complaint.
Thao was laid off for two years and returned to the department in 2012.
Meanwhile, friends and family have gone on Facebook to mourn George Floyd.
Floyd’s sister, Vanita Williams-Dabney, wrote on Facebook, “My bro was killed by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day …R I.P. bro we will get Justice for u ..gone2soon ..loveU4life.”