Eight minority corrections officers who work at the jail holding a former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd allege that they were barred from guarding or having contact with the officer because of their race, the AP reports. Floyd died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, who is white, used his knee to pin down the handcuffed Black man's neck. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. He is being held at the Ramsey County Jail on $1 million bond. Eight Ramsey County corrections officers filed racial discrimination charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights on Friday alleging that when Chauvin was booked into the jail, all officers of color were ordered to a separate floor, according to the Star Tribune.
The charges allege that a supervisor told one of the officers that because of their race, they would be a potential "liability" around Chauvin. Bonnie Smith, a Minneapolis attorney representing the eight employees, said the order left a lasting impact on morale. "I think they deserve to have employment decisions made based on performance and behavior," she said. "Their main goal is to make sure this never happens again." Jail Superintendent Steve Lydon allegedly told superiors that he was informed that day that Chauvin would be arriving in 10 minutes and he made a call “to protect and support” minority employees by shielding them from Chauvin. The discrimination charges are expected to automatically trigger a state investigation.
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