MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Soon after Attorney General Keith Ellison increased charges against Derek Chauvin and charged the remaining three officers involved with George Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis Police Department released extensive personnel information on all four of the now-former officers.
Though a large portion of the total 235 pages have been redacted, the documents contain the officers’ employment history, and reveal some of their behavior during their time in the department.
In the widely circulated video documenting George Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin is shown holding Floyd’s neck to the ground for nearly nine minutes. Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng held down Floyd’s torso and feet, while Tou Thao stands watch nearby.
Chauvin was the veteran police officer among the four; he had been on the force for nearly 20 years. Before he was hired in 2001, his history shows he spent two short stints in the military – from September 1996 to February 1997, and from September 1999 to May 2000.
His first post was in Rochester, while his second was in Hohenfels, Germany. He spent both periods working as a member of the military police.
His file also includes one letter of reprimand for a 2007 incident in which he pulled a woman from her car, pat frisked her, and placed her in the backseat of his squad car. She had been going 10 miles over the speed limit. Chauvin admitted to not checking the MVR equipment in the car, which had been turned off during the course of the stop.
While his documents do not include any of the other reported 18 misconduct complaints against him, they do include his commendations.
He received a medal of valor in 2008 for an incident in which he fatally shot a suspect who had pointed a sawed-off shotgun at him. According to the recommendation papers, the suspect had fled in a vehicle and had attempted to get out of his car at the intersection of 42nd Street and Hiawatha Avenue. Chauvin’s actions, read the recommendation “were consistant with training in stopping the immediate threat.”
The next year, he received another medal of valor for responding to a domestic abuse call, which resulted in him firing and hitting the suspect twice. According to the file, the suspect had barricaded himself in a room with the victim, and eventually advanced towards Chauvin, who then engaged and struggled with him.
Tou Thao, the officer who stood by while George Floyd died, worked a variety of jobs before starting a position as a police officer.
He attended Fridley High School and attended North Hennepin Community College, studying law enforcement while working a job at Cub Foods.
He started his position as a community service officer with the MPD in 2008, but was let go as part of budget cuts in 2009. In 2012, he was recalled, resuming his job as a police officer.
Kueng and Lane were the two newest officers involved with Floyd’s death.
Kueng graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2018, majoring in sociology of law and criminology. During his time there, he worked as a security monitor, escorting students to and from different locations around campus.
He became a community service officer starting in 2017 and became an official police officer in December 2019.
Lane was also a recent addition to the MPD; he started as a police cadet in February 2019 and started as an officer in December 2019. During his initial court appearance Thursday, his lawyer repeatedly said George Floyd’s death occurred on his fourth day on the force, which is contradicted by these documents.
Lane also graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in sociology of law, criminology, and deviance. He worked as a juvenile correctional officer, supervising high-risk youth between the ages of 17 and 20. He also worked as a server in multiple restaurants throughout the city.
Both Kueng and Lane’s files contain their official discharge documents. They say they were fired for violation of civil service commission, including “substandard performance,” “misconduct,” and “violation of department rules.” They were terminated on May 26, at 4:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.
Thao, Kueng, and Lane made the first court appearance Thursday afternoon. They face a $1 million bail and will be back in court on June 29. Chauvin will make his first court appearance Monday.