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The former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd is still eligible for over $1 million in retirement benefits even if he is convicted of the killing, according to a new report.
Derek Chauvin, who is white, has been the subject of widespread ire since footage emerged of him kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a Black man, for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was declared dead soon after, and Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder and has been fired by the police department.
Despite the charges and his termination, Chauvin is still eligible to receive money from the partially-taxpayer-funded police pension, according to CNN. The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association confirmed to CNN that 44-year-old Chauvin would remain eligible to file for his pension as early as age 50 and that he is still eligible despite being terminated from the department.
"Neither our Board nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits," a spokeswoman told CNN. "Any changes to current law would need to be done through the legislative process."
Chauvin would likely be eligible for annual payments around $50,000 a year if he chose to start receiving them at age 55, according to a CNN analysis.
The Minneapolis Mayor's Office, Police Department and the local police union did not respond to CNN's requests for comment and neither did Chauvin's attorney.
Public retirement pensions are some of the most generous in the country and are nearly impossible to take away from eligible workers due to the actions of public sector unions, like police unions.
Chauvin made his first appearance in court earlier this week for a largely procedural bail hearing. He did not offer any comment or plea in the hearing. Chauvin’s former colleagues — J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Floyd's death has sparked nationwide protests over police brutality and racial inequalities.
Chauvin is due back in court at the end of the month.
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