Minneapolis police chief vows to destroy Derek Chauvin's badge

As the City of Minneapolis settles two more lawsuits filed over improper conduct by the former police officer Derek Chauvin, new Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara is vowing to destroy Chauvin's badge.

Along with his convictions for the murder of George Floyd, Chauvin was also accused of two previous incidents of using excessive force in two 2017 arrests.

Speaking at a news conference announcing the settelements on Thursday, Chief O'Hara referred to Chauvin as a "national embarrassment to the policing profession."

"More than another iteration of the hateful and violent legacy of this former employee," said O'Hara. "This is an example of the cancer that has infected this department. Today is not a day for excuses or attempts at justification. The notion that we are dealing with the bad actions of one employee is false. We are dealing with the ugly consequences stemming from a systemic failure within the Minneapolis Police Department that has allowed for and at times encourage unjust and brutal policing."

While apologizing to the victims, O'Hara also announced a symbolic act to move beyond the shadow Chauvin has cast on the department. Typically, the department recycles badges and badge numbers. With Chauvin, O'Hara says that won't happen.

"Our community deserves good policing that reflects community values and is effective at keeping all people safe," said O'Hara. "As Minneapolis chief of police, I expect nothing less. The Minneapolis police has a tradition to recycle the badge numbers that are no longer assigned to a current officer. This badge, betrayed so and so egregiously dishonored, will be destroyed and the badge number permanently removed from our rosters so that no future Minneapolis police officer should have to wear it."