This is why police officer Derek Chauvin has not been arrested over death of George Floyd

George Floyd's death in police custody has sparked protests in Minneapolis (Getty Images)George Floyd's death in police custody has sparked protests in Minneapolis (Getty Images)
George Floyd's death in police custody has sparked protests in Minneapolis (Getty Images)

Minneapolis has been gripped with demonstrations after footage circulated of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, pleading for air as a police officer knelt on his neck. Floyd died in police custody.

The police officer in question is Derek Chauvin, who, along with three other officers, was fired following the incident.

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Clashes between officers and protestors have been taking place since Floyd’s death on May 25, with demonstrations taking place outside of Chauvin’s house.

The 3rd Precinct Station, where Chauvin is believed to have been based during his duty, was set alight in the early hours of Friday morning.

Live-streamed video showed the protesters then entering the building, where fire alarms blared and sprinklers ran as fires were started.

Minneapolis mayor, Jacob Frey, is among those calling for Chauvin to be criminally charged.

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Who is Derek Chauvin?

Derek Chauvin, 44, is a 19-year veteran with the Minneapolis Police Department.

According to department records Chauvin has been involved in several police-involved shootings during his career.

Chauvin was placed on leave in 2011 following the shooting on an indigenous man, according to the Daily Beast.

In 2008 Chauvin responded to a domestic assault call, shooting and wounding Ira Latrell Toles. Toles is said to have reached for an officers gun when Chauvin shot him in the abdomen.

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Chauvin and five other officers shot and killed Wayne Reyes, 42, in 2006 when he allegedly pulled a shotgun on responding officers.

Who is Tou Thao?

Tou Thao also featured in footage of George Floyd’s arrest and death. Thao could be seen standing between bystanders and Chauvin.

Thao is a ten year veteran of the force and was sued by a man, Lamar Ferguson, in 2014 who alleged that Thao “punch[ed], kick[ed] and kn[eed]” the plaintiff “face and body” resulting in “broken teeth as well as other bruising and trauma”. Thao and fellow responding officers are said to have stopped and searched the plaintiff and his pregnant wife without cause.

Thao and the other officers took Ferguson to hospital for medical treatment before leading him to jail wearing only his underwear and t-shirt, despite pleas from hospital staff.

The case was settled out of court.

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Why have they not been arrested?

Despite demonstrations and calls from the mayor for Chauvin’s arrest, no charges have yet been filed against either officer.

The US attorney's office and the FBI in Minneapolis said they are conducting "a robust criminal investigation" into the death, while President Trump has said he had asked an investigation to be expedited.

The FBI is also investigating whether Mr Floyd's civil rights were violated.

Local Attorney Mike Freeman, however, has said that such an investigation will take time.

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“We’re going to investigate [Floyd’s death] as expeditiously, as thoroughly and completely as justice demands,” Freeman said. “Sometimes, that takes a little time and we ask people to be patient. We have to do this right.”

“I will say this, that this video is graphic, and horrific and terrible, and no person should do that,” he said.

“And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to weigh through all of that evidence to come through with a meaningful determination, and we are doing the best of our ability, ” he said.

His office later clarified Freeman’s claim that there was “other evidence.

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It said: “To clarify, County Attorney Freeman was saying that it is critical to review all the evidence because at the time of trial, invariably, all that information will be used... Evidence not favorable to our case needs to be carefully examined to understand the full picture of what actually happened.”