George Floyd's tragic death on May 25, 2020, after an encounter with Minneapolis police has brought former officer Derek Chauvin's name front and center. His trial has become the focal point of the fallout from Floyd's death.
And while it may appear that all the odds are stacked against the embattled former officer, there is a seriously wealthy group backing Chauvin's defense.
With that being said, who exactly is paying the hefty legal bill for Chauvin's defense, and what kind of vested interest do they have in his potential acquittal? Here's a breakdown of all the known details.
So, who is paying for Derek Chauvin's defense? The Minnesota Police Association, of course.
Although it was initially reported by some outlets that Chauvin's defense was being taken care of by the Minneapolis Police Union, it is in fact the Minneapolis Police Association that is footing the hefty bill. As part of their contract when signing on within the state, all police officers are backed by a statewide pooled legal defense fund in case they run into any legal trouble.
Association guidelines require all police units across the state to contribute to the fund, and despite the heightened attention around Chauvin's case, he is still technically entitled to the defense funds.
Furthermore, although he is no longer with the force, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) must still cover his legal funds since the crimes he is charged with occurred while he was still an active officer on duty.
Executive Director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Brian Peters explained that his organization is handling the financial side of Chauvin's case, and alluded to the fact that Chauvin is just as entitled to the money as any other member of the state's police would be, when faced with a legal trial.
He has not given his opinion on the case or on whether he feels Chauvin is guilty.
Details of the legal defense fund, which can be read here, include stipulations about legal protections, like in Chauvin's case. It promises "legal representation in any civil or criminal action brought against him or her arising from any act or omission of the Participant within the scope of his or her employment" to any and all officers.
As for how much the case may end up costing the state's funds, Peters also hasn't provided a concrete amount. However, prior cases that didn't garner nearly as much attention and scrutiny as Chauvin's have cost the fund roughly $500,000, meaning that this one could very well run in excess of that.
Beyond that, the executive director alluded to the fact that he has received calls from people looking to donate to Chauvin's defense efforts themselves, but claims to have repeatedly told callers that the fund doesn't accept donations.