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Derek Chauvin accused of using excessive force months before murdering George Floyd

A new lawsuit filed against Derek Chauvin claims he used his "signature move" on a woman months befo
A new lawsuit filed against Derek Chauvin claims he used his "signature move" on a woman months befo 01:47

MINNEAPOLIS — A new lawsuit has been filed against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, accusing him of using excessive force against a woman a handful of months before he murdered George Floyd

On Tuesday, the complaint was filed by Robins Kaplan LLP in federal court in Minnesota against Chauvin and his previous partner, Ellen Jensen. 

The lawsuit alleges that in January 2020, Patty Day was "violently jerked from her car" and thrown to the ground by both Chauvin and Jensen. Chauvin then used his "signature pose," the lawsuit said, and pressed his knee into Day's back while she was handcuffed. 

The suit says Day was in her car, drunk, sitting on the side of the road for hours, when a neighbor called 911. Chauvin and Jensen responded to the call. According to the lawsuit, Chauvin's excessive force resulted in Day suffering a fractured tooth, as well as "significant" arm and shoulder injuries. 

The lawsuit also alleges that while this was happening, Jensen did nothing to intervene.

"It's important to our client, Patty, that the truth comes out, and she would like there to be the transparency that hopefully leads to accountability," said Katie Bennett, one of Day's attorneys.

Furthermore, the lawsuit says the City of Minneapolis knew officers with the Minneapolis Police Department had a "long history of gratuitous use of excessive force." 

"Sadly, my experience with Derek Chauvin is not unique," Day said in the news release from Robins Kaplan LLP. "George Floyd died at the hands of this individual, and had the City intervened on his behavior after my interaction, he could still be alive today. Other people have also had their civil rights violated, like Zoya Code and John Pope, showing his aggressive patterns. It was a traumatic part of my life that I hope no one else will have to endure."

In his report, Chauvin writes Day "had to be pulled out from the driver's seat," "was pulled face down onto the snow-covered street" and was "handcuffed without further incident."

Day is seeking at least $9 million in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. 

The City of Minneapolis, named as a defendant along with Chauvin, didn't immediately respond to WCCO's request for comment.

The Minneapolis Police Department says it can't comment on pending litigation. 

"If Minneapolis isn't going to pay for a good police force, I guess they're going to have to pay for having a bad one," Bennett said.

In 2021, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder for killing Floyd during an arrest in May 2020. He's now serving a 22-year sentence. 

In April 2023, the Minneapolis City Council settled two civil cases against Chauvin for nearly $9 million. Both lawsuits allege that Chauvin used excessive force three years before Floyd's murder, including on one person who was 14 years old at the time. The settlement came two years after the City of Minneapolis approved a historic $27 million settlement with Floyd's family. 

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