According to the New York Post, eight minority corrections officers have filed a discrimination suit with Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights claiming they were barred from guarding former police officer #DerekChauvin.
Chauvin was detained at the Ramsey County Jail for the murder of #GeorgeFloyd days after video footage captured him kneeling his knee in Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Initially, the former officer was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but the charges were later upgraded to second-degree murder.
The racial discrimination charges allege that all correction officers of color were sent to another floor upon Chauvin’s arrival, and a supervisor told one of the officers that due to their race, it would be a “liability” to have them around Chauvin, the Star Tribune reports.
“I understood that the decision to segregate us had been made because we could not be trusted to carry out our work responsibilities professionally around the high-profile inmate — solely because of the color of our skin,” said one black sergeant.
“I am not aware of a similar situation where white officers were segregated from an inmate,” he added.
The officers will be represented by attorney Bonnie Smith who has said the decision to bar the minority officers “affected their morale.”
“I think they deserve to have employment decisions made based on performance and behavior,” she told the paper. “Their main goal is to make sure this never happens again.”