The four Minneapolis police officers who were on the scene when George Floyd was killed were fired shortly after large riots consumed the city, and are currently facing charges in his murder. This is an unlikely series of events, considering that police officers typically have a high level of immunity in these cases, and often get their jobs back once the investigation is over.
Since this is such a high-profile case with so much at stake, there is a chance the officers involved could do serious jail time, or at the very least lose their badges forever. However, there is a chance that they could become police officers once again, even at the Minneapolis Police Department. In fact, there are some powerful people in the city fighting for this cause.
The head of the Minneapolis Police Union is repeating his criticism of the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Lt. Bob Kroll, Pres. of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, spoke with @CBSNews in his first interview since 4 officers were charged in George Floyd's killing. pic.twitter.com/sTlamprDld
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 23, 2020
Lt. Bob Kroll, the president of the city’s police union, recently wrote a letter to his members signaling that he was working to restore the officers’ jobs.
Kroll stated that the officers were fired without due process, and that he hopes to move the case to a private arbitrator where they have had a lot of success getting police officer terminations reversed.
Since 2006, eight Minneapolis police firings have been decided by arbitrators and all but two resulted in the officers getting their jobs back, according to an NBC News review of records from the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services.
Although Kroll and the union seem to have given up on Derek Chauvin, they are confident that the other officers will be reinstated.
— Momox Estudios (@momoxestudios) June 25, 2020
Chauvin is the recently fired officer who was seen in the now-viral video in which Floyd was killed. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he gasped for air and begged for his life. He has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 19 years, and in that time, he has been involved in multiple shootings in which people were killed, and has had multiple excessive force complaints.
Police initially said Floyd was resisting arrest and had a medical incident. However, surveillance video obtained by CBS News showed Floyd cooperating with the officers, and video of his death clearly shows that he was not resisting.
While it is not clear exactly how the altercation began, the Minneapolis Police Department said that they were responding to a “forgery in progress.” It was later clarified that Floyd was accused of attempting to pass off a $20 bill at a local deli, or that he matched the description of someone who had.
While the officer was arresting Floyd, he kept his knee on the back of his neck and forced him to remain face down on the pavement, as Floyd struggled to breathe, and begged for his life with the remaining air that he could muster.
Chauvin’s actions have been widely condemned, even by other police officers, but law enforcement commentators are not happy that all of the officers on the scene are facing consequences too. Those who support the charges against all of the officers say that they had a responsibility to intervene.