The former Minneapolis police officer who was seen ramming his knee into George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes before his death could receive more than $ 1 million in retirement benefits even though he is sentenced by a court.
Derek Chauvin, 44, faces second degree murder and second degree manslaughter charges for Floyd’s death.
He kept his knee on Floyd’s neck even as the 46-year-old black man begged him to let go so he could breathe.
After Floyd’s death, Chauvin was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department. It took four days for the authorities to arrest and charge him under intense pressure.
Derek Chauvin, 44, faces second degree murder and second degree manslaughter in death of George Floyd
Chauvin knelt around the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, for about nine minutes before dying in police custody on May 25
Even if Chauvin is found guilty and sentenced to prison for Floyd’s death, he could still collect pension payments if he decides to apply for pension benefits after the age of 50, according to CNN.
Some states have pension forfeiture laws that allow for the denial of benefits to any public employee convicted of a serious felony. Minnesota, however, is not one of them.
Minnesota state law protects public safety employee pensions, even in the event of termination.
Chauvin could decide to forgo his retirement by asking for the reimbursement of his employer contributions, which would be paid in a lump sum.
But there is no legal mechanism by which Chauvin could be denied his pension, according to the Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association.
“Neither our board of directors nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits,” a PERA spokesperson told CNN.
Tou Thao (above), 34, has 10 years of service with the Minneapolis Police Department. He is also eligible to receive retirement benefits
“Any changes to the current law should be done through the legislative process. “
Under the terms governing the PERA Police and Fire Fund, employees contribute almost 12 percent of their total wages while employers – in this case, state taxpayers – contribute slightly more – some 16 percent.
These funds also accumulate interest and earnings on investments.
PERA calculates the benefits taking into account the age of the person; the average salary over the five-year period in which the employee received their highest salary, also known as the “high five”; and years of credited service.
Chauvin’s pension is determined by multiplying 3 percent by the total number of years of service – 19.
That number would then be multiplied by his average salary during his “top five” period.
If Chauvin were to seek retirement after turning 55, he would be entitled to annual payments of around $ 50,000, according to CNN.
This means that over a 30-year period, Chauvin could receive at least $ 1.5 million, although that does not include any increase in the cost of living.
Payments could be even higher if Chauvin accumulates significant overtime.
The other two officers arrested in connection with Floyd’s death – Thomas Lane (left) and J Alexander Kueng (right) – were recruits to the force
Floyd’s death sparked massive international outcry against racial justice
Three other former Minneapolis police officers have also been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter.
Tou Thao, who has accumulated ten years of service in the force, may also be eligible for retirement benefits.
The 34-year-old officer is seen in a video telling passers-by to keep their distance as Floyd is suffocated by Chauvin.
Thao graduated from police school in 2009 and was laid off for two years before returning to the Minneapolis Police Department in 2012.
It is not known how much pension money Thao would be entitled to upon retirement.
The other two officers arrested in connection with Floyd’s death are recruits.
Thomas Lane, 37, posted cash bond and was released from prison on Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities said Lane initially took Floyd into custody. He also allegedly held Floyd’s legs while Chauvin knelt on his neck.
Lane’s next hearing is scheduled for June 29. His lawyer says he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges.
J Alexander Kueng faces the same charges as Lang.