Two Minneapolis residents file lawsuit against former officer who killed Floyd
Two black Minneapolis residents on Tuesday filed federal civil rights lawsuits against Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, alleging he treated them similarly in the past.
John Pope Jr and Zoya Code claimed racism and civil rights violations in the lawsuits, the lawyers representing them told reporters. The lawsuits stem from incidents that date back to 2017.
Floyd, a black man suspected of smuggling a counterfeit note, was killed in May 2020 when Chauvin knelt on his neck as three other officers looked on. The incident sparked a wave of protests against racial injustice across the world.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison last year after his murder conviction. He pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Pope was 14 in 2017 when officers were called to his home for reported domestic disturbances. Chauvin was one of the officers who responded, and he entered Pope’s bedroom, where Pope was on his cellphone and lying face down on the floor, attorneys said Tuesday.
‘Chauvin rushed Pope and hit him multiple times in the head with a large flashlight’ and ‘pinned Pope to the ground with his knee, the same tactic he used on George Floyd,’ they said .
In Code’s case, attorneys alleged that Chauvin also used excessive force, adding that he banged her head on the ground and put his knee on the back of her neck.
Chauvin’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.
The criminal charges against Pope and Code were eventually dropped. Joining their lawyers at Tuesday’s press briefing, the plaintiffs said they were left traumatized after Chauvin’s actions. Their lawsuit also names the city of Minneapolis as a defendant.
“The incidents involving John Pope and Zoya Code are troubling. We intend to move forward in negotiations with the plaintiffs on these two issues and hope that we can reach a reasonable settlement,” the prosecutor’s office said. of the city of Minneapolis.