Officer charged in Floyd’s death eligible for pension money

Though facing second and third-degree murder charges, Derek Chauvin is eligible for a pension even if found guilty.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is eligible to receive pension benefits during his retirement years even if he’s convicted of killing George Floyd, according to the Minnesota agency that represents retired public workers.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of George.

Video of the arrest shows Chauvin, who is white, using his knee to pin down the neck of George, who is black and was handcuffed, for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving. George’s death has sparked protests around the world.

The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association said in a statement that former employees who meet length-of-service requirements qualify for benefits regardless of whether they quit or are fired. Those payments are not affected by criminal charges or convictions, the agency said, citing state law.

The revelation raises again the role of police unions in police brutality. A number of pundits in the U.S., including Juan Williams of Fox News, have brought up the issue of police unions and the way they defend their members regardless of their actions.

A recent study by the University of Victoria’s economics department found that the protections which unions provide to their members directly contribute to higher numbers of misconduct, especially toward minorities.

The Police Union Contract Project, a website that collects and compares police union contracts across the country, found that police union agreements are designed to make it nearly impossible to hold its members accountable.

The information collected found that many unions give law enforcement officials special accommodations, such as limiting which disciplinary actions can be taken and disqualifying misconduct complaints that are submitted too long after an incident occurs.

Many unions prevent officers from being interrogated immediately after a civilian complaint and restrict how or where police officers can be interrogated.

Even police officers who are terminated can be reinstated through union contracts.

A June 5 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal says, “A first step would be to let go of the lowest-performing 2% of public-sector workers—in this case, police officers—each year. That would help ensure that the most violent, disrespectful and incompetent officers are dismissed each year.”

A review of police payroll, salary and contract information obtained by CNN estimates that Chauvin’s annual payments would be around $50,000 or more if he elected to begin receiving distributions at age 55. Chauvin was a member of the Minneapolis police force for 19 years.

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, did not immediately return an email request seeking comment.