Officials claim that on May 29, when Chavin was charged with the murder of George Floyd, they were told to report to the third floor of the jail.
“When we got to the third floor, we realized that all the color workers at the facility were all on the floor and that we were separated from the fifth floor,” where Chavvin had to be held, said an employee discrimination class.
Steve Lydon, the inspector of correctional facilities, soon overturned the decision, but all eight employees said they were “deeply humiliated” by the “separation order,” the indictment said.
“I think Ramsey County’s actions were discreet, because they stood out openly and set the color officers apart because of the color of our skin,” the officers said in their complaints.
The prison officer gives his side to the story
Lyndon said that when he was notified on May 29 that Chavvin would soon be in jail, he decided to assign some correctional officers to other positions, according to a statement from Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.
Chavvin, who is white, and other officers knelt at Floyd, a black man, during his arrest in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death and the release of the spectator of the arrest sparked protests across the nation.
“Recognizing that the assassination of George Floyd was likely to inflict particularly acute racial trauma, I felt I had an immediate duty to protect and support employees who may have been injured and may have increased their trauma by continuing to treat Chavvin,” he said. Lyndon said. .
“Without worry and worry, and without the convenience of time, I decided to limit exposure to color workers to a suspected murder that could possibly aggravate those feelings.”
Lyndon said he reversed his decision in time.
“Shortly after the decision was made, the staff of the Corrections expressed their concern about the change and within 45 minutes I realized my mistake and we reversed the order,” he said.
“I then met with the people who were working at the time and explained to them what my thinking process was at the time and assured them that the decision was made without concern for them and in no way related to a concern about their professionalism. or Chauvin security. ”
“I realized that I had made a mistake in the crisis and I apologized to the affected employees.”
In a statement, officers’ lawyer Bonnie Smith said the change came too late. “The damage was done at that point. The shifts were assigned and at least one color officer who was placed on the 5th floor at the weekend was assigned to another floor for the entire duration of Chauvin’s detention in prison.”
According to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, Lydon’s duties have been changed, and Sheriff Bill Fletcher is considering whether to take additional action.
Chavin was charged by prosecutors with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree murder for his alleged role in Floyd’s death on May 25.
Officers are seeking compensation for emotional distress
Minnesota Human Rights Communications Director Taylor Putz told CNN that state law does not allow the agency to release a charge of discrimination or other information about a case until it is closed.
In addition, Putz says the Department has not closed the case and cannot comment.
Legal officers are identified as African-Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islands Americans, or mixed race.
Measures are needed to ensure that discreet behavior never occurs again at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center, as well as compensation for their emotional distress and lost profits, Smith said in a statement.
Smith says one of her clients stopped in the middle of Chauvin’s detention and said she would not take Chauvin to his unit, Smith said in a statement.
Another officer said color correction officers were informed in the middle of the response to an emergency call that they would not be allowed to complete the emergency protocol until white officers arrived, as it included going to the fifth floor, Smith said.
“The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office separates color workers away from a high-profile food exclusively because of the color of their skin,” Smith said in a statement. “The classification of employees based on race and skin color was deeply humiliating and humiliating, not to mention illegal. These correctional officers come to work every day to keep our community safe and employment decisions must be taken based on their performance and not their skin color “