Derek Chauvin Once Kept Knee on Teen's Back for 17 Minutes, Prosecutors Say

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the back of a 14-year-old boy in the prone position for 17 minutes while responding to a report of domestic assault, a memorandum filed by prosecutors has revealed.

The incident occurred on September 4, 2017. Minnesota prosecutors submitted a memo about it to the judge presiding over Chauvin's recent trial on November 16, 2020.

They had obtained police bodycam footage of the event after the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25, 2020, and sought to use it as evidence in Chauvin's trial. However, Judge Peter Cahill ruled against admitting it, according to KARE 11.

The prosecutors' memo quoted from Chauvin's police report but said the videos "show a far more violent and forceful treatment of the child" than his report claimed.

Chauvin and another officer were responding to a report of a domestic assault where a mother alleged she had been assaulted by her two teenage children.

Because minor children were involved, the names of the members of the public and the address were blacked out in a copy of the report reviewed by KARE 11.

Chauvin's report described the 14-year-old boy as "6-foot-2 and at least 240 pounds" and said he was "not complying with direction" and "displayed active resistance" when the officers tried to arrest him.

Chauvin reported that he "applied a neck restraint" and was "able to roll [the juvenile male] onto his stomach and grab his left wrist so that cuffing could be completed."

The boy reportedly bled from his left ear and an ambulance was called. The paramedics said he required stitches. Prosecutors gave a blow-by-blow account of what they watched on the bodycam footage, sometimes down to the second.

"Officer Walls told the child to get on his stomach, and when he did not, Chauvin hit the child with his flashlight, just eight seconds after first grabbing the child. Two seconds later, Chauvin grabbed the child's throat and hit him again in the head with his flashlight," the memo said.

"Chauvin applied a neck restraint, causing the child to lose consciousness and go to the ground. Chauvin and Walls placed him in the prone position and handcuffed him behind his back while the child's mother pleaded with them not to kill her son and told her son to stop resisting," prosecutors added.

The boy was handcuffed in "the prone position" and Chauvin then moved his knee onto the child's back. The boy regained consciousness and told the officers he was in pain and "he could not breathe" while his mother repeatedly asked Chauvin to remove his knee from the 14-year-old. He did so when the paramedics arrived.

"As Chauvin and Walls tightened the handcuffs, Chauvin removed his knee from the child's back, some 17 minutes after restraining him to the floor and kneeling on him," the memo went on. "At approximately 9:33, Chauvin and Walls helped the child roll to one side and stand up. They then walked him to the ambulance."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank signed the submission. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of Floyd on April 20.

The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department "engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing." The department is also reportedly weighing additional charges against Chauvin.

Newsweek has asked Derek Chauvin's attorney and the Minnesota Assistant Attorney General for comment on this article.

People Celebrate at George Floyd Square
People celebrate at George Floyd Square after the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Former police officer Derek Chauvin reportedly held his knee on a 14-year-old boy's back for 17 minutes in 2017. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images