George Floyd: Derek Chauvin felt entitled during kneeling and was 'hypersensitive to insult', says cop expert

George Floyd: Derek Chauvin felt entitled during kneeling and was 'hypersensitive to insult', says cop expert
(Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Getty Images)

Derek Chauvin, ex-officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, whose action of kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes leading to his death on May 25 gave rise to nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality, was possibly "hypersensitive to insult" and had "developed a sense of entitlement," said a former cop.

Charles D Hayes, former Dallas police officer turned activist, whose book 'Blue Bias: An Ex-Cop Turned Philosopher Examines the Learning and Resolve Necessary to End Hidden Prejudice in Policing' focuses on bias in policing and the psychological/physiological causes and effects of police brutality and excessive force, was requested by MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) to do a behavioral analysis of Chauvin and he had quite a few insights on the matter.

According to Hayes, Chauvin's "extensive experience worked against him. There are physiological changes that come with engaging in physical and emotion (sic) conflict on a routine basis. A person’s amygdala is likely to grow, causing them to become hypersensitive to insult or in having their authority challenged. Some law enforcement psychologists refer to this as having developed a sense of entitlement, and the look on Derek Chauvin’s face when he was kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was in my view ample evidence of a privileged sense of entitlement."

We previously reported that Chauvin was always an aggressive cop who had a thirst for action. As a result, long after many others his age moved to desk jobs or the day shift, he chose to remain on the field, patrolling the streets in one of Minneapolis’ busiest precincts on its hardest shift, 4 pm to 2 am. His dedication toward his work received appreciation from Chauvin's superiors, even earning him two medals of commendation for tackling an armed suspect and arresting an armed gang member. When he shot a man wielding a sawed-off shotgun and subduing a domestic-violence suspect, who was also wounded by Chauvin, he was awarded two medals of valor.

A protester holds a sign in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

However, at the same time, 22 complaints or internal investigations were launched against Chauvin during his 19-year career, despite him being formally disciplined only one time. The officer received only two letters of reprimand for his behavior displayed in an August 2007 incident in which he pulled over a breastfeeding mother and taunted her for wearing a wet shirt.

As to why Chauvin was never reprimanded, except that one time, Hayes said, "there are nearly 18,000 police agencies that make establishing standards exceedingly difficult. Twenty-two complaints and only one with disciplined means only one really has much weight against him. Also, it is very unfortunate that police unions make it exceedingly difficult to fire officers who become abusive."

To rectify this tradition, he said: "Police departments need help from the behavioral sciences. Police officers need to be aware of that they are subject to experience emotional changes simply from doing their job and police chiefs and supervisors must be obsessed with keeping the use of excessive force under control or their officers will get out of control just from their routine experience."

Hayes also said police departments needed to go through a more stringent racial bias training. "Most of the officers I know are disappointed in the diversity training they go through. Anyone can go online and take the Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT). The trouble with diversity training is that it often leaves the officers with the notion that implicit bias can be dealt with by use of our conscious opinion, but implicit bias comes to us as intuition, fed to us from our subconscious and it takes resolve and a sense of hyperawareness to mitigate the effects of bias. Again, there are no national standards," he told MEAWW.

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