Derek Chauvin is allegedly being separated from minority officers at the jail where he is currently housed on murder charges in connection with George Floyd’s death. As CNN affiliate WCCO reported, eight minority cops filed a lawsuit against Ramsey County for preventing them from guarding the former officer.
The suit alleges that the plaintiffs — a combination of African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and mixed-race individuals — were moved to another floor upon Chauvin’s arrival at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center and told not to guard or interact with him during his stay. In one particular instance, Devin Sullivan was stopped from patting Chauvin down and replaced with a white officer.
The police believe they were ”segregated and prevented from doing their jobs by defendant solely because of the color of their skin,” noting Chauvin was receiving visits from a white lieutenant who consoled him and let him use a cellphone.
“The impact on our clients has been immense. They’re deeply humiliated and distressed, and the bonds necessary within the high-stress and high-pressure environment of the ADC have been broken,” said the officers’ attorney, Lucas Kaster.
Superintendent Lydon — who made the orders — has been demoted while the department conducts an internal investigation, per the Star Tribune. He claims he had the officers’ best interest at heart.
“Recognizing that the murder of George Floyd was likely to create particularly acute racialized trauma, I felt I had an immediate duty to protect and support employees who may have been traumatized and may have heightened ongoing trauma by having to deal with Chauvin,” he said. “Out of care and concern, and without the comfort of time, I made the decision to limit exposure to employees of color to a murder suspect who could potentially aggravate those feelings.”
Chauvin was captured as he suffocating George Floyd, placing a knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes. The viral video sparked racial demonstrations across the world.