Ex-Cop Derek Chauvin: An Enigma in Blue?  

Yes, said a StarTribune article based on interviews of other police officers, neighbors and one family member.[1]

“Former colleagues are confounded by how the unassuming veteran street cop became the city’s most notorious officer.”  One of them, retired , said, “He’s not the devil that he’s made out to be. I don’t know what happened to him. Nobody knows. That’s the million-dollar question.” Another, Jerry Obleglo, a former U.S. Army platoon sergeant stationed in Germany with Chauvin, said Chauvin “was a regular guy, didn’t stand out, did his job, kept his uniform clean and kept his equipment accounted for. . . No complaints.” Another officer, now a retired precinct commander, said “she never thought [Chauvin] was overly aggressive.”

His only disciplinary action in Minneapolis was in 2007 when he stopped a woman on her way home from grocery shopping. She alleged Chauvin had pulled her over for going 10 mph over the speed limit, frisked her and put her in the squad car. For this Chauvin received a letter of reprimand.

Another complaint that did not result in any disciplinary action was filed by a county mental health worker. In 2013 on his way home after work, the worker was stopped by Chauvin and another officer, who ordered the worker out of his car and tried to force him down on the pavement, but who went down on his own to avoid injury. When the individual was taken to a police station, other officers determined there was a mistaken identity. Yet the mental health worker was charged with failing to comply with police orders and resisting arrest, charges that later were dropped.The worker is still angry and was not surprised to learn that Chauvin was the one who was at his car window that night. He said, Chauvin “was running around like a loose cannon.”

Chauvin provided off-duty security at a local nightclub for many years. Its owner described him as a “mellow” guy who did not talk much about himself, but quickly became aggressive on nights when there were a number of Black customers. On another occasion she said she did not know of any interactions of the two men at the club. But one wonders whether they ever had any conflicts at the club that the May 25th arrest of Floyd gave Chauvin the chance for revenge. Or that Chauvin’s pinning of Floyd that night was prompted by  jealousy of Floyd as a result of something that happened at the club.

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[1] Montemayor, Bjorhus & McKinney, Those who know Derek Chauvin say they would not have predicted his killing of George Floyd, StarTribune (Aug. 8, 2020) See also these posts to dwkcommentaries.com: Derek Chauvin’s Wife’s Divorce Petition Raises Questions (July 8, 2020); Derek Chauvin’s Policing Background (July 20, 2020); Chauvin and Wife Now Charged with Minnesota Tax Crimes (July 22, 2020).

 

 

 

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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