It’s almost as if ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin‘s racism spread like—dammit, I’m just going to say it—monkeypox and it followed him everywhere he went before he was finally convicted and sentenced for murdering George Floyd. Either that or there’s just a lot of racism in Minneapolis law enforcement—from the department to the very jail Chauvin was taken to while he awaited trial last year.
According to the Associated Press, eight non-white corrections officers at Ramsey County Jail were awarded nearly $1.5 million Tuesday to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit alleging that they were barred from entering the floor where Chauvin was being held because the jail’s superintendent, Steve Lydon, thought it was appropriate “to protect and support” jail cops of color from Floyd’s killer.
Essentially, Lydon got word that Chauvin would be arriving in 10 minutes that day and he decided: “Sh**, we better hide the coloreds lest they be melted by the racism radiation Chauvin emanates.
The Washington Post reported that acting Sgt. Devin Sullivan, who is Black, normally would process high-profile inmates at intake. But Sullivan, who is one of the plaintiffs, said Lydon told him stop the pat-down and replaced him with white officers, the Post said.
The Post also reported a supervisor “pulled all officers of color from their regular duties, according to the lawsuit, and asked them to report to the third floor of the facility, away from the fifth floor where Chauvin would be held in a secluded cell. All were replaced by White officers, the lawsuit claimed.”
Obviously, it doesn’t actually sound like Lydon, who was demoted after the incident, was trying to protect non-white employees from Chauvin. He actually seemed to be afraid guards of color wouldn’t be able to control themselves around Chauvin. I mean, did he think they were going to start breaking out the shivs like it was an episode of HBO’s Oz? Was he afraid Chauvin was going to be found hanging from his cell under mysterious circumstances because employees whose job it is to watch over inmates weren’t professional enough to not go full Nat Turner on him?
Anyway, Board Chairwoman Trista MatasCastillo apologized to the plaintiffs in a statement saying the decisions by the sheriff’s department, which runs the jail, was “more than just wrong—they were racist, heinous, highly disrespectful and completely out of line with Ramsey County’s vision and values.”
It’s funny how the “values” never quite line up with the reality when it comes to racial discrimination practices in any given place of employment, isn’t it?