Derek Chauvin: Officer charged with killing George Floyd still earns over $ 1 million in pensions

Minneapolis demonstrators have called to defund the Minneapolis Police Department.
Chauvin has been the subject of national anger since last month, when images of kneeling around Floyd’s neck appeared for about nine minutes as he begged Floyd to stop. He was quickly fired from his department since 2001, and was ultimately charged with second-degree murder as a result of national protests. Three other officers were fired and faced heavy charges.

However, Chauvin still benefits from a pension partially financed by taxpayers. While some state laws allow pensions for employees convicted of heavy work-related crimes, this is not the case in Minnesota.

Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association has confirmed to CNN that 44-year-old Chauvin can apply for pension by age 50, but will not elaborate on the specific amount he will receive. Chauvin’s lawyer declined to comment. Pension plan officials said that employees are eligible for future benefits unless they are voluntarily or for termination purposes, unless they choose to lose their future benefits and get a refund of all their contributions during their employment.

“Neither our Board nor our staff have the authority to increase, decrease, reject or cancel benefits,” a spokesperson said. Said. “Changes to the existing law need to be made through the legislative process.”

While a number of factors are used to calculate pensions, Chauvin will be eligible for annual payments of $ 50,000 or more per year, at the age of 55, according to a CNN analysis based on Chauvin’s tenure. 2019 payroll data, contract information, retirement plan guidance, and Minneapolis Police Department salary charts. The benefits can be $ 1.5 million or more over a 30-year period, not including any increase in living costs. Chauvin’s annual payments may be even higher if it takes significant overtime in previous years.

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According to the employment records released by the city, two of the other officers accused of Floyd’s death were rookie, but the third is entitled to pension from the time he spent with the department. Minneapolis Mayor’s Office, Police Department and local police union did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

Public pensions are paid from the local government and workers financed by the taxpayer, as well as from their investment returns. Public safety pensions are often the most generous and have caused local and state budgets to bubble up across the country.

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However, it is almost impossible to reduce or expel workers promised in public employment contracts, and police unions have worked hard to protect workers’ retirement. Officers also usually pay part of their own salaries to funds and receive their pensions instead of Social Security.

While calling for terminating growing police departments across the country and better distributing money to social services such as youth and community development and mental health treatment, pensions will likely be a flash point in ongoing discussions.

The laws on whether retirement can be removed from the police accused of abuse of office vary by country. In less than half of the states, there are laws that allow pensions to be removed from convicted police for any crime, while in some other states pensions are allowed due to corruption or sexual crimes against minors, but according to the 2017 study published in the Journal of Law, Economy and Policy, a the officer’s conviction to use excessive force.

But even these laws will not touch many officers who have never been convicted and even accused of police brutality accused of a crime. The researchers stated that many of them have passed in the past decade, and are generally not applicable to civil servants hired before laws are passed.

“Losing retirement for abuse is extremely rare,” said D. Bruce Johnsen, a professor of law and author of the research at George Mason University. Said.

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“With this terrible tragedy, it might be a good time to move in this direction,” he said, adding that special situations that would allow losing would need to be carefully defined.

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