The wife of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who was arrested in the murder of George Floyd, has now filed for divorce. Kellie Chauvin, a former Mrs. Minnesota winner, filed for divorce on the same day that her husband was charged with murder.
Kellie and Derek met while she was working as a radiology technician at the hospital where he had taken a suspect for a medical check. Derek later returned to the hospital to ask her on a date, and the two eventually got married. Kellie worked at the same hospital that Floyd was taken to and pronounced dead last week.
Ironically, Kellie got in trouble with the law back in 2005, before she met Chauvin, over a forgery related incident. She was charged with writing a bad check at a grocery store for $42.24.
In previous interviews discussing their relationship, Kellie insisted that Chauvin was a perfect gentleman and was a "softie" under his uniform. However, one of his previous employers, who hired him to work security at a local nightclub, said that Chauvin had a terrible temper and was always quick to resort to using force, even when it wasn't needed.
While the exact reason for the recent divorce is unclear, Kellie said in a statement through her lawyers that her sympathies are with the Floyd family right now. Some abuse victim advocates have speculated that there could have been abuse in the relationship, considering that Chauvin had such a short temper, and there is an incredibly high rate of abuse among police officers.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is a serious problem among police officers, and in most cases, they never see any consequences. According to some studies, law enforcement officers beat their wives or girlfriends at nearly double the rate of the rest of the population.
Several studies, according to Diane Wetendorf, author of Police Domestic Violence: Handbook for Victims, indicate that women suffer domestic abuse in at least 40 percent of police officer families. For American women overall, the figure is 25 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to The Advocates for Human Rights Organization, studies indicate that police families are 2-4 times more likely than the general population to experience domestic violence, making the potential for disparities in protective success particularly troubling.
For a woman who is the victim of a domestic abuser who is also a cop, finding justice or protection is a daunting process, because you are essentially depending upon your abusers best friends to trust you and keep you safe, and in many cases, this doesn't happen. Domestic violence experts have speculated that Kellie filed for divorce because she finally felt safe with Chavin behind bars for a serious and violent offense. It is also possible that Kellie's memory of her own run-in with the law and its eerie similarity to that of her husband's victim, caused her to rethink her marriage. No one will know for sure why she left unless she makes a statement for herself, and for now, she has asked everyone to leave her alone for her own safety, privacy and mental health.