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Derek Chauvin taunted breastfeeding mom for wet shirt, pulled her out of car: 'You have postpartum depression'

Melissa Borton was on her way home from grocery shopping when she was confronted by Chauvin and a fellow officer who pulled her over
Derek Chauvin (Hennepin County Sheriff)
Derek Chauvin (Hennepin County Sheriff)

Former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he knelt on African-American man George Floyd on May 25 for nearly eight minutes causing his death, had only been professionally disciplined once despite having 22 complaints against him in his 19-year career.

According to a profile on Chauvin by Twin Cities, the officer received only two letters of reprimand for his behavior displayed in an August 2007 incident. Melissa Borton was on her way home from grocery shopping when she was confronted by Chauvin and a fellow officer who pulled her over. Then, without explanation, Chauvin reached into the open window of Borton’s minivan, unlocked her door, undid her seatbelt and started pulling her out. She recalled to the outlet that she had to leave her baby and dog behind in the vehicle as she was taken to the police cruiser. In the cruiser, she was told by the officers that they were looking for a vehicle resembling hers which had been involved in a crime.

After a while, Borton was informed that she could leave. Borton was visibly upset by that time and instead of reassuring her, the officers started taunting her because her shirt was wet. "When I got out, they noticed that my shirt was wet, which was from being a breastfeeding mother,” Borton recalled. As she returned to the car, she remembered one of the officers making a rude comment. “Chauvin or the other officer rudely said, ‘you probably have postpartum depression, and you need help,'" she said.

Derek Chauvin (Getty Images)

According to Chauvin's profile, he 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’s 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. 

However, at the same time, 22 complaints or internal investigations were launched against Chauvin during his career, despite him being formally disciplined only that one time. Dave Bicking, a board member of Communities United Against Police Brutality, told Twin Cities that it was a comparatively high number when it came to his peers as most officers might get one or two complaints in seven years. “His numbers should have definitely raised alarm with the department and triggered a review,” said Bicking. 

The aggressive methods of policing came culminated in the harrowing death of Floyd which led to a nationwide uproar against police brutality and racial bias. In the infamous video shot by a bystander, Chauvin was seen jamming his knee in the back of Floyd’s neck. Even as Floyd laid helpless, struggling to breathe and calling out for his mother, Chauvin seemed more focused on uttering a heroic one-liner which seems straight out of some crime show. “You’re under arrest, guy,” he said. “That’s why you’re going to jail.” At the end, when Floyd went limp, and one of the rookie cops with him said that he could not detect a pulse on him, Chauvin kept on pressing on Floyd's neck for over two minutes.