Officers of Color Banned from Guarding Derek Chauvin Get $1.5 Million in Settlement

Eight colored correction officers were banned from guarding Derek Chauvin in May 2020 — now they are receiving nearly $1.5 million in racial discrimination settlement.

Chauvin is a former Minneapolis police officer who has since been convicted of George Floyd’s death. The murder sparked nationwide protests, calling for racial justice and police reform.

According to court documentsSteve Lydon, then superintendent of the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center, issued an order on May 29, 2020, prohibiting color corrections from entering the fifth floor where Chauvin was being held.

The order was withdrawn about an hour later.

Several officers filed discrimination charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights the following month. Those files were later closed as officers prepared for a separate trial.

PHOTO: George Floyd is depicted in an undated photo released by the office of civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

George Floyd is pictured in an undated photo released by the office of civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

Courtesy of Ben Crump Law

In a February 2021 complaint that followed, eight officers alleged multiple violations of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, including discrimination based on race and color and a hostile work environment.

Three plaintiffs – Devin Sullivan, Stanley Hafoka and Nathaniel Gomez-Haustein – also alleged retaliation. They claimed emotional distress, as well as loss of income.

PHOTO: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is depicted in a recording released April 21, 2021 by the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is pictured in an intake mug released by the Minnesota Department of Corrections on April 21, 2021.

Minnesota Department of Corrections

According to the Star Tribune, Lydon made the decision to “protect and support” employees of colorhoping to quell any pain Chauvin’s presence might cause them.

Trista MatasCastillo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ramsey County apologized to the officers involved on Tuesday.

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“The actions of the Sheriff’s Office leadership that day were more than just wrong — they were racist, horrific, deeply disrespectful and completely contrary to Ramsey County’s vision and values,” MatasCastillo said in a statement. “No one should ever have doubted your ability to do your job based on the color of your skin.”

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