The Ramsey County, Mn., Board of Commissioners apologized to eight correctional officers who were prevented from guarding Derek Chauvin because they are people of color. The board condemning the sheriff’s office leadership and called for accountability, reports Minnesota Public Radio. The employees filed a discrimination suit last year. On Tuesday, the board approved a settlement with the correctional officers for $1.455 million, which covers lost wages, emotional distress and attorneys’ fees. Chauvin was arrested and taken to the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center in St. Paul on May 29, 2020, four days after he killed George Floyd. The jail is run by County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.
Employees charged that jail superintendent Steve Lydon prohibited all non-white correctional officers from interacting with or guarding Chauvin. Their suit alleged that officers of color were reassigned and prevented from responding to an emergency call in the jail until white officers arrived. County board chair Trista MatasCastillo apologized to the eight officers, who identify as Black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander-American and multiracial. MatasCastillo said the decisions by the sheriff’s department leadership was “more than just wrong — they were racist, heinous, highly disrespectful and completely out of line with Ramsey County’s vision and values.” The board called on Fletcher to take steps to address the situation in 2020, but MatasCastillo said“we’re still waiting.”