Excessive force lawsuit against Derek Chauvin filed by 2020 arrest victim

In the months before former Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, one woman claims that he also handled her violently prior to an arrest — causing several injuries in the process.

In the lawsuit filed in Hennepin County, Patricia "Patty" Day alleges that on Jan. 17, 2020, Chauvin and former partner officer Ellen Jensen, "violently yanked [Patty] from her vehicle and, without justification, threw her to the ground in the middle of a street, fracturing her tooth, injuring her arm and shoulder, while causing other injuries before handcuffing her."

The 42-page federal civil rights lawsuit is filed on behalf of Day by Roblins Kaplan LLP, and seeks at least $9 million in damages from Chauvin, Jensen and the City of Minneapolis.

On the day of the altercation and subsequent arrest, Day admits that she had been drinking but pulled over and parked her car on the side of the street, where she fell asleep. She was later approached by neighbors who asked if she was OK, and eventually called the police — with Chauvin and Jensen responding.

The lawsuit alleges that upon arrival, Chauvin reached into the vehicle, opened the door and grabbed Day's left arm as both he and Jensen pulled her out, and placed her under arrest.

At one point the complaint alleges that Chauvin threw her face down in the street and "assumed his signature pose, pressing his knee into the subdued and handcuffed back — just as he would later do to snuff the life out of George Floyd."

The lawsuit also alleges, in part, that Jensen not only participated during the altercations but failed to intervene.

Day took a preliminary breath test and indicated she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.25 after being arrested under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, and she was charged with two gross misdemeanor counts. But throughout the altercation, Day maintained that she had not been combative, the complaint says.

Minneapolis officials have yet to release the footage of body cameras worn by officers.