Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck for several minutes while he cried out for help in handcuffs and said he couldn't breathe, had a history of using excessive force during policing.
Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder in Floyd's death, was named in more than a dozen complaints that resulted in no disciplinary action and one that led to a "letter of reprimand." Several people, including LaSean Braddock, Zoya Code and Julian Hernandez, recalled violent encounters with Chauvin in interviews with NBC News and The Marshall Project.
Braddock said Chauvin was one of the officers who jumped on his neck and back during a traffic stop in 2013 and Hernandez claimed Chauvin choked him out in 2015, after forcing him to leave a night club where he worked security while off-duty. Code told The Marshall Project that Chauvin put her in prone position on the ground and pressed his knee into her body after responding to a domestic dispute in 2017.
Hernandez said he believes that if Chauvin's superiors had "looked more into" complaints about "his aggressiveness" and reprimanded him, "he would still be a cop and George Floyd would be alive."
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