Kellie Chauvin, the wife of former White police officer charged for the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd in Minneapolis, is a Hmong American, according to NBC news.
Late this past week, the former Mrs Minnesota filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years.
“Her utmost sympathy lies with [Floyd’s] family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy,” a statement from her attorney said. “While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time.”
She was also charged with writing a bad check for $42 in 2005, according to New York Post. The charge was dropped after she repaid the money. Ironically, Floyd was arrested, allegedly for using a fake $20 bill.
Kellie reportedly met Derek Chauvin, a veteran officer who had been in the Minnesota police force for 19 years, when he brought in someone in for a health check at her place of work before an arrest.
Now, she is part of the debate about Asian Americans’ complicity to racism against African Americans.
Chauvin, 43, was born in Laos during its civil war and lived partially in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her family immigrated to the United States as a refugee three years later, where she experienced economic hardships and was bullied, she told Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
“They say ‘land of the free,’ but I still didn’t feel like we were free,” Chauvin said. “We didn’t know English. My parents didn’t want us leaving the house because they didn’t trust the world. You land into this brand-new world and you don’t know what to expect, and so we were always kept inside.”
Before she turned 18, Chauvin married a man she “barely knew” by arranged marriage, which was abusive. She received a degree in radiology and went back to school after she married Chauvin. She is now a real estate agent.
In an interview with Twin Cities Pioneer Press in which she expressed her desire to become Mrs. America, she said that her husband was “just a softie.”
“He’s such a gentleman,” she said. “He still opens the door for me, still puts my coat on for me. After my divorce, I had a list of must-haves if I were ever to be in a relationship, and he fit all of them.”
In the now-viral cellphone video that shows Floyd’s death, Chauvin is seen kneeling on his neck while Floyd says, “I can’t breathe.”
“They murdered my brother. He was crying for help,” Bridgett Floyd, Floyd’s sister told the “TODAY” show.
Chauvin has also received at least a dozen police conduct complaints during his time at the Minneapolis police force. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN) former Minnesota prosecutor and one of Biden’s purported vice presidential finalists, chose not to prosecute Chauvin and five other officers in 2006 for shooting a man who allegedly “(turned) on the police,” according to The Guardian.
Internet users have also speculated that Chauvin’s wife is related to Tou Thao, a former Asian American police officer who is seen passively guarding the act of policy brutality. Like Chauvin, Thao has also been fired and charged with murder. The claims the two officers are related by marriage have not been substantiated.
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