(The Center Square) – Fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is still eligible to receive his pension, even if he’s convicted of second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin was fired after video revealed him pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee in Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The former officer had been on the force since 2001, and it has been widely reported 17 complaints had been registered against him during that period.
A CNN report, however, reveals Chauvin is eligible to receive nearly all of his annual pension, totaling about $1 million in payments. The payments could begin as early as when the currently 44-year-old Chauvin turns 50. If he waits until the age of 55 to begin collecting, those payments could net him $1.5 million over the course of 30 years.
Those numbers could increase significantly if Chauvin accumulated extensive overtime as a police officer, according to CNN.
The pension payments will happen regardless whether Chauvin is convicted.
One of three other officers fired as a result of the Chauvin’s actions is also eligible to receive a pension. Two of the officers were rookies, so, therefore, ineligible to receive a pension. All four officers face felony charges.
Police pensions derive from individual employee contributions, investment income and taxpayer dollars.
MinnPost, a nonprofit news organization, reported in 2017 that Minnesota’s public pensions are underfunded by “billions of dollars,” estimated to be as high as $18 billion in unfunded liablities.
Floyd’s death as a result of his interaction with Chauvin ignited international controversy, protests and even violent rioting and looting related to racial relations and police brutality.
After the incident, Chauvin was fired, arrested, and charged with third-degree murder. The charge was subsequently elevated to second-degree murder by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
A spokeswoman for the Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association has stated it cannot change the state’s policy for public employee pensions. Only legislators can do that, she said.