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Ramsey County Correctional Facility is only allowing white correctional officers on David Chauvin’s floor. Eight correctional officers who were Black or non-white, were barred from Chauvin’s floor because of potential bias. The correctional officers are not able to guard or interact with Chauvin, which pushed them to file a complaint with the Minnesota Human Resources Department. According to the New York Times, the superintendent, Steve Lydon, said he decided to segregate the jail because he felt the Black and non-white officers wouldn’t be able to do their jobs sufficiently since they are not white.
ABC obtained some of the letters of complaint and one of them stated how humiliated and hurt they felt when they were discriminated against.
“My fellow officers of color and I were, and continue to be, deeply humiliated, distressed, and negatively impacted by the segregation order…the order and Ramsey County’s failure to adequately address it have caused a hostile work environment for officers of color at Ramsey County Correctional Facility — Adult Detention Unit,” the complaint read.
Lydon told ABC in an interview that he separated the correctional officers in order to keep the staff safe.
“Recognizing that the murder of George Floyd was likely to create particularly acute racialized trauma, I felt I had an immediate duty to protect and support employees who may have been traumatized and may have heightened ongoing trauma by having to deal with Chauvin,” Lydon’s statement reads. “Out of care and concern, and without the comfort of time, I made the decision to limit exposure to employees of color to a murder suspect who could potentially aggravate those feelings.” Lydon said.
Chauvin dug his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The other ex-Minneapolis officers, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, held down Floyd’s legs. Ex-officer, Tou Thao, guarded the other officers while Floyd cried and begged for mercy.
Chauvin is being charged with second degree murder for the killing of George Floyd and the remaining three officers will be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
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