I’ve never personally met ex-police officer Derek Chauvin and I don’t care to. I already know him, far too well. For years, I spent eight hour shifts working beside him. I backed him up on the violent streets of Baltimore City. I watched as an entire squad of good cops tried to reign him in. I participated as we took his gun or pulled him off a handcuffed suspect. I witnessed it first hand. And it’s frightening. I watched as supervisors were informed of these actions and many did nothing. As citizens made complaints of brutality, and although investigated thoroughly, never yielded sufficient evidence to fire him. And, long after my work in the FBI, I studied and researched him throughout my doctoral years and beyond.
Derek Chauvin is not new to me. Nor is he unique to our society. Derek Chauvin is a bad cop and most of all, a bad person. A bully who uses his job for his own sick pleasures. A man defined by his need to be in charge. An entitled man, driven solely by self centered desires. The job is merely a vehicle to fulfill his need for power and control.
Derek Chauvin exists in every police department in our country. He also exists in every institution throughout the world. He’s the university medical doctor that abuses his patients.
He’s the business man or woman that finds pleasure threatening or firing colleagues or underlings, perceived to be a hinderance to his goal. Sure, he may be racist, homophobic and sexist, but most of all, he is a bully with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.
Life to Derek Chauvin is about fulfilling his own needs, not those of others. In his mind, he’s entitled to do whatever it takes to satisfy these needs. He didn’t join the police department to protect and serve. He joined to intimidate and harm vulnerable individuals, no matter their race, color, gender or creed. The job is about him. All about how he looks and what he wants.
It’s not about the safety and well being of society.
And with the greatest of sadness, on Monday, May 25, 2020, it was about an African American man, handcuffed and unable to fight back, named George Floyd.
Patricia Kirby is a former Baltimore City Parole and Probation Agent, Police Officer, Homicide Detective, FBI Agent, FBI Profiler and college professor. She holds a PH.D from American University in Sociology: Justice, Law and Society and lives in Kent County and Long Island, ME.