Derek Chauvin, former Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd is still eligible to receive up to $1 million in pension benefits during his retirement even if he is charged for Floyd’s death.
What We Know:
- Chauvin has received backlash after video footage captured him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes after he was begged to stop. The incident resulted in the death of Floyd and Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, along with three other officers who were involved in th eincident. Although he can be charged, he will still benefit from a pension from taxpayers. Many states allow for forfeitures of pensions if employees are convicted of a crime but that’s not the case in Minnesota.
- According to the Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association, Chauvin can receive his pension as early as the age of 50. Employees who are terminated voluntarily or for cause can still receive their pension unless they decide to forfeit their benefits.
- A spokeswoman said, “Neither our Board nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits. Any changes to current law would need to be done through the legislative process.” Chauvin may be eligible to receive up to $50,000 a year or more if he decided to begin receiving benefits at age 55. The pension could increase to $1.5 million over a 30-year time frame.
- Pensions are nearly impossible to take away from employees who are promised them in their employment contracts. The police force has fought hard to protect pensions for their employees, and some pay some of their own salaries into their pensions. There will be much debate about pensions given the outbreak of protests calling to “defund police.”
Whether an officer is stripped of their pension if alleged of misconduct is different in every state and almost less than half allow for pensions to be taken away in the event of misconduct. According to a 2017 research published in the Journal of Law, some states allow for pensions to be taken away for specific crimes such as sex crimes or corruption.