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Who are Derek Chauvin's parents? The life of George Floyd's ‘killer’ cop and why his father demanded paternity test

Derek Chauvi's life is now in the public spectacle but his close ones are nowhere to be seen...
UPDATED APR 20, 2021
Derek Chauvin (Police / Court TV)
Derek Chauvin (Police / Court TV)

Derek Chauvin's trial marks a new chapter in the history of Black Lives Matter and as witnesses present their side of the story, the 45-year-old former cop awaits judgment. George Floyd's death sparked a wave of protests across America after Chauvin knelt on his neck for about nine minutes as the Black man cried “I can't breathe...” The nation is now ready to hear the verdict for the trial.

Chauvin sits day after day in a Hennepin County courtroom scribbling on a legal pad and has already been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. His life is now in the public spectacle but his close ones are nowhere to be seen. Married for over ten years, Chauvin's wife Kellie Chauvin — who competed in a Mrs Minnesota beauty pageant in 2018 — announced she wanted to divorce him days after Floyd's brutal death. 


Where is Kellie Chauvin now? Derek Chauvin's ex wife who was crowned Mrs Minnesota requested to change her name

What is the Derek Chauvin trial verdict? Here are the odds on guilty for George Floyd death

Derek Chavin kneeling on George Floyd's neck (YouTube)

Who are Derek Chauvin's parents?

Born on March 19, 1976, Chauvin grew up in suburban West St Paul with his homemaker mother and father who worked as a certified public accountant and earned about $1,000 a month. At the age of seven, his parents separated and his mother filed for divorce. She asked for the family home and child support for Derek and his baby sister.

The family shattered when Derek's father asked for a paternity test for his sister and found out that he was not the father after a blood test. The divorce formalities proceeded and his father got the family home and shared custody of Derek. According to reports, his mother went on to marry her lover. 

Derek's early life was tumultuous and he constantly changed schools, having attended four elementary schools in five years. A classmate from Park High School in Cottage Grove remembered him as one of the students who never talked but always held the flag. Another classmate, Scott Swanson, said, “He was just a face in the crowd.” Chauvin lived with his grandmother at her suburban house in Inver Grove Heights till he was 27.

Derek Chauvin (Police)

How did Derek Chauvin become a cop?

Chauvin did not start off as a cop. Not many know that his career began as a prep cook at Tinucci’s, a Newport restaurant 10 minutes from home. Not just that, he even enrolled himself at a local technical college to study “quantity food preparation.” Fate, however, had different plans for him. 

Eventually, he went on to study law enforcement at a community college and also earned a Metropolitan State University degree in law enforcement. He was deployed to a US Army base in Germany, where he studied for the Minnesota police exam. Jerry Obieglo, a platoon sergeant who supervised Chauvin, said, “He volunteered to be a designated driver for the guys who wanted to go into town at night and have a few beers.” 

When he was 24, he applied to the Minneapolis police. It was September 2000 then. “In a group setting he would never connect and stand there like a small child,” the officer said., adding, “I was put off by his lack of communication skills. You never felt like he was present.” Chauvin landed in the Third Precinct.

Kellie Chauvin and Derek Chauvin (Minnesota Beauty Pageant Photos)

Who is Derek Chauvin's wife?

Derek Chauvin met his wife Kellie at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis when he took someone for a health check-up before arrest. The meeting sparked romance and the pair soon fell in love. By 2008, they got serious about the relationship and in 2010, the two got hitched. Kellie sketched out intimate details of their beautiful relationship in a 2018 newspaper profile after she was crowned Mrs Minnesota. 
She told the St Paul Pioneer Press, “Under that uniform, he's just a softie. He's such a gentleman. He still opens the door for me, still puts my coat on for me. After my [previous] divorce, I had a list of must-haves if I were ever to be in a relationship, and he fit all of them.”

The two then moved to Florida in 2011 and first bought a townhouse in Windermere for an estimated amount of about $200,000. In 2020, its market value increased to over $249,000. In 2017, the pair purchased another house in Oakdale, Minnesota for $260,000, which was later valued and sold for about $279,000.