Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, could receive more than $1 million in pension benefits over several decades even after he is convicted, the Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association said.
The group told news outlets on Friday that Chauvin, who joined the police force in 2001, would be eligible for pension benefits after he turns 50 years old. He was fired from his job as public outrage grew after a viral video showed him with his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes.
Three other officers involved in the incident were fired and faced felony charges.
“Neither our Board nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits,” a Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association spokeswoman told CNN. “Any changes to current law would need to be done through the legislative process.”
Some states allow for pensions of public employees to be terminated if they are convicted of felony crimes related to their work. Minnesota does not have such a provision.
It’s not clear how much Chauvin could stand to earn from his pension, although the news outlet estimated that it could be around $1.5 million over several decades.
Experts told CNN that pension forfeiture for police officers is rare, even in cases of severe misconduct.
In Minneapolis, however, a number of unprecedented actions were taken against law enforcement following Floyd’s death. Local entities, including the school district, cut ties with the city’s police department, while city council members said they have a veto-proof plan to abolish the department entirely.
The move to dismantle or defund police departments drew a rebuke from President Donald Trump.
“There won’t be defunding, there won’t be dismantling of our police,” Trump said this week, saying that police are doing a “fantastic” job.