Minnesota v. Chauvin Complaint

27-CR-20-12646-Complaint

The Complainant submits this complaint to the Court and states that there is probable cause to believe Defendant committed the following offense(s):

COUNT I

Charge: Murder – 3rd Degree Perpetrating Eminently Dangerous Act and Evincing Depraved Mind

Minnesota Statute: 609.195(a), with reference to: 609.195(a)

Maximum Sentence: 25 YEARS

Offense Level: Felony

Offense Date (on or about): 05/25/2020

Control #(ICR#): 20200338

Charge Description: That on or about May 25, 2020, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.

COUNT II

Charge: Manslaughter 2nd Degree Culpable Negligence Creating Unreasonable Risk

Minnesota Statute: 609.205(1), with reference to: 609.205

Maximum Sentence: 10 YEARS AND/OR $20,000

Offense Level: Felony

Offense Date (on or about): 05/25/2020

Control #(ICR#): 20200338

Charge Description: That on or about May 25, 2020, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by his culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk and taking a chance of causing death or great bodily harm to George Floyd.

STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE

On May 25, 2020, someone called 911 and reported that a man bought merchandise from Cup Foods at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota with a counterfeit $20 bill. At 8:08 p.m., Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Officers Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng arrived with their body worn cameras (BWCs) activated and running. The officers learned from store personnel that the man who passed the counterfeit $20 was parked in a car around the corner from the store on 38th Street.

BWC video obtained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shows that the officers approached the car, Lane on the driver’s side and Kueng on the passenger side. Three people were in the car; George Floyd was in the driver’s seat, a known adult male was in the passenger seat and a known adult female was sitting in the backseat. As Officer Lane began speaking with Mr. Floyd, he pulled his gun out and pointed it at Mr. Floyd’s open window and directed Mr. Floyd to show his hands. When Mr. Floyd put his hands in the steering wheel, Lane put his gun back in its holster.

While Officer Kueng was speaking with the front seat passenger, Officer Lane ordered Mr. Floyd out of the car, put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car. Officer Lane handcuffed Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd actively resisted being handcuffed.

Once handcuffed, Mr. Floyd became compliant and walked with Officer Lane to the sidewalk and sat on the ground at Officer Lane’s direction. In a conversation that lasted just under two minutes, Officer Lang asked Mr. Floyd for his name and identification. Officer Lane asked Mr. Lloyd if he was “on anything” and explained that he was arresting Mr. Lloyd for passing counterfeit currency.

Officers Kueng and Lane stood Mr. Floyd up and attempted to walk Mr. Floyd to their squad car (MPD 320) at 8:14 p.m. Mr. Floyd stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic.

MPD Officers Derek Chauvin (the defendant) and Tou Thoa then arrived in a separate squad car.

The officers made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of squad 320 from the driver’s side. Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still. Mr. Floyd is over six feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds.

While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe. The defendant went to the passenger side and tried to get Mr. Floyd into the car from that side and Lane and Kueng assisted.

The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs. The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.

The officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, “should we roll him on his side?” and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him.” Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” The defendant said, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” None of the three officers moved from their positions.

BWC video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe. At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving. At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him on his side.” Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.

At 8:27:24, the defendant removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck. An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrived, the officers placed Mr. Floyd on a gurney, and the ambulance left the scene. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.

The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive. Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.

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11 thoughts on “Minnesota v. Chauvin Complaint”

  1. This part is full of gaps (see annotations in brackets):

    The officers made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of squad 320 from the driver’s side. Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still. Mr. Floyd is over six feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds. [So at this point Floyd is on the ground on the driver’s side.]

    While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe. [How did he get up?]

    The defendant went to the passenger side and tried to get Mr. Floyd into the car from that side and Lane and Kueng assisted. [“defendant went”? WTF? How did Floyd get there?]

    The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. [How did Floyd get into the car? Why did defendant pull him out?]

     

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  2. More strangeness (see annotations in brackets):

    Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.

    The officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, “should we roll him on his side?” and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him.” Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” The defendant said, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” None of the three officers moved from their positions. [Andrew Branca noted the “excited delirium” possibility last week. The “That’s why…” does not evidence “depraved mind”.]

    BWC video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe. At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving. At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him on his side.” Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.

    At 8:27:24, the defendant removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck. An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrived, the officers placed Mr. Floyd on a gurney, and the ambulance left the scene. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.

    The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death. [Note the ME does not single out the knee on neck, but only the general restraint. Plus, “likely contributed” does not get you a “beyond a reasonable doubt conviction”.]

    The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive. Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.

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  3. Robert A. McReynolds:
    Chauvin will be acquitted no question. Based on the complaint it sounds like it was written specifically to acquit while giving the appearance of trying to go after him.

    Or to set up Count II as a “compromise verdict” that they likely could not have gotten if that was all they charged him with.

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  4. This video appears to show a police officer trying to push Floyd from the driver’s side while other officers are at the passenger side. Contrary to the narrative of Chauvin merely pulling Floyd out, this is consistent with Floyd attempting to escape via the passenger side door.

    but go further. Look at who the officers are. It appears Chauvin is initially the second officer at the driver’s side. There is another officer at the passenger side. Chauvin runs around to the passenger side. When Floyd exits the passenger side, Chauvin is not the closest officer. Am I misidentifying? Is there a thin middle-aged white officer other than Chauvin?

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  5. ctlaw:
    The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. [How did Floyd get into the car? Why did defendant pull him out?]

    So, at some point Mr Floyd was handcuffed and inside the police car.
    I don’t get it.

    My understanding is that Mr Floyd  was complaining of shortness of breath before they got him in the car and that the officers called for an ambulance because he seemed to be in medical distress.
    Ok.  So  if he was in some distress, why go through the hassle of struggling to put him in the car?

    And given that they did get him in the car
    …and it seems like they just had a hard time getting him in…Why  take him out again?

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  6. The Thao complaint is absurd:

    The defendant initially obtained a hobble restraint from the squad car to restrain Mr. Floyd in that manner, but the officers decided not to use it and maintained their positions. During this time, the defendant looked directly at how Chauvin was restraining Mr. Floyd, with Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck area, and observed that the three officers had Mr. Floyd subdued in this manner. The defendant then became concerned about a number of citizens who had gathered and were watching the officers subdue Mr. Floyd, and potential traffic concerns, and so the defendant stood between those citizens and the three officers restraining Mr. Floyd. When one citizen stepped off the curb, imploring Chauvin to get off of Mr. Floyd, the defendant put his hands on the citizen to keep him back.

    I guess the prosecutor thinks It would have been OK for the person Thao restrained to have attacked Chauvin.

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  7. ctlaw:
    Medical examiner’s report:

    https://www.scribd.com/document/464482038/200604-Hennepin-County-ME-Full-ME-Report#download&from_embed

    From the report:

    “No life-threatening injuries identified.”

    They specifically looked at his neck:

    A. No facial, oral mucosal, or conjunctival petechiae

    B. No injuries of anterior muscles of neck or laryngeal structures

    He had a heart attack, in part triggered by the drugs in his system, which included fentanyl, meth, caffeine, plus other stuff.

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