Eight minority corrections officers in Minnesota say they were sent to a separate floor of a county jail and barred from guarding fired Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin after his arrest in the death of George Floyd, according to a report.
The minority officers working in Ramsey County, who have filed a discrimination complaint, also say a supervisor told them they were viewed as a potential “liability” regarding Chauvin’s stay in the jail because of their race, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
The jail superintendent who made the decision affecting the minority officers has since been demoted, the newspaper reported.
The matter has adversely affected morale among the county’s corrections officers, Bonnie Smith, attorney for the eight officers filing the complaint, told the newspaper.
One of the minority officers, whom the paper did not identify, wrote his reaction to the superintendent’s order.
“I understood that the decision to segregate us had been made because we could not be trusted to carry out our work responsibilities professionally around the high-profile inmate — solely because of the color of our skin,” the acting sergeant, who is black, wrote, according to the complaint. “I am not aware of a similar situation where white officers were segregated from an inmate.”