World Media

Minneapolis Police Officers Quit in the Wake of George Floyd Protests

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin could still receive his pension benefits even if he is convicted of killing George Floyd

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd by holding a knee to his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, may have been fired from the police department and facing second degree murder charges, but he's repotedly still on track to receive up to $1 million in taxpayer funds for his pension.

Unlike what is obtainable in some other states of the US and other countries, Minnesota does not allow for the forfeiture of pensions for employees convicted of felony crimes related to their work.

"Neither our Board nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits", a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association (MPERA) told CNN.

At least seven Minneapolis police officers have quit and another seven are in the process of resigning, citing a lack of support from department and city leaders as protests over George Floyd's death escalated. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Chauvin's pension is determined by multiplying 3 per cent by the total years of his service - 19.

It's been reported Chauvin could be eligible for about US$50,000 (NZ$77,000) a year if he started receiving benefits at age 55 according to the network's analysis taking his tenure and pension data into account.

The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association confirmed to CNN that 44-year-old Chauvin would remain eligible to file for his pension as early as age 50, though it would not provide details on the specific amount he would receive.

His death has sparked protests around the world over police brutality and racism. Of the three other officers fired (J Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao), Kueng and Lane would not be eligible for such a pension because they were rookies.

Floyd, who was black, died on May 25 after officers arrested him on suspicion of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store. "PERA is responsible to administer the police and fire pension plan in accordance with state of Minnesota laws and does not have discretionary authority over the determination of benefits".

The lawyer has also demanded a change in the police department.