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*Derek Chauvin was born on this date in 1976. He is a white-American former police officer and murderer.
Derek Michael Chauvin was born in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. His mother was a housewife, and his father was a certified public accountant. At seven, his parents divorced and were granted joint custody of him. Chauvin attended Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, but did not finish and later obtained a GED certificate. He earned a certificate in quantity food preparation at Dakota County Technical College and worked jobs as a prep cook at McDonald's and a south metro buffet restaurant.
He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1996 to 2004, including two stints in the military police between 1996 and 2000. During that time, he also attended Inver Hills Community College from 1995 to 1999 and later transferred to Metropolitan State University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in law enforcement in 2006.
Chauvin joined the Minneapolis Police Department in 2001. He received a medal for valor in 2006 for being one of several officers who fired on a suspect who pointed a shotgun at them and another in 2008 for a domestic violence incident in which he broke down a door and shot a suspect who reached for his pistol. He received a commendation medal in 2008 after he and his partner tackled a fleeing suspect holding a pistol. He received a commendation medal in 2009 after working off-duty as a security guard for a nightclub.
Chauvin had 18 complaints on his official record, two of which ended in discipline, including official letters of reprimand. He had been involved in three police shootings, one of which was fatal. According to the former owner of El Nuevo Rodeo, a Latin nightclub, Chauvin had worked there off-duty as security while George Floyd was also working as security. Still, he was not certain they knew each other. The owner has been critical of Chauvin since his arrest, describing Chauvin's tactics as "overkill" and saying, "Chauvin was unnecessarily aggressive on nights when the club had a black clientele, quelling fights by dousing the crowd with pepper spray and calling in several police squad cars as backup".
The owner also said Chauvin responded to fights by spraying the crowd with mace instead of dealing with those fighting. On May 25, 2020, Chauvin was one of four officers involved in arresting and killing George Floyd on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a market and was the field training officer for one of the other officers involved. Chauvin and the other officers involved were fired the day following the incident. While knee-to-neck restraints are allowed in Minnesota under certain circumstances, Chauvin's use of the technique has been widely criticized by law enforcement experts as excessive.
His wife, a real estate agent and photographer, is a Hmong refugee from Laos who competed in a "Mrs. Minnesota" beauty pageant in 2018. She filed for divorce the day before he was arrested for Floyd's death. The incident set off a series of protests in the Twin Cities and across the rest of the United States, later spreading worldwide. Chauvin was released on bail on October 7, 2020. His murder trial resulted in three guilty verdicts on April 21, 2021.