George Floyd’s murder launched the word into a state of outrage. The video showing Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck and eventually killing him sparked the international explosion of large-scale protests, activism, and media coverage. Chauvin has finally been sentenced with second degree murder and could receive up to 40 years. Although he will be in jail for a while, Minnesota is not among the states that have laws in place preventing employees convicted of work-related felony crimes from receiving pensions, so he may have a considerably large pension to look forward to in a few years.

Chauvin, 44, will be eligible to file for pension when he turns 50. A CNN analysis based on his tenure, contract details, 2019 payroll data, Minneapolis Police Department salary schedules and pension plan guidance suggests that he would receive payments of approximately $50,000 a year or more if he decided to wait till age 55 to file.

Over a period of 30 years, Chauvin’s benefits could increase to $1.5 million or more, and likely even more than that once any increases in cost of living are factored in. If he received significant amounts of overtime in the past, he stands to gain even higher payments.

Public pensions, which are funded through taxpayers as well as workers and investment returns, are almost impossible to rescind from workers."Neither our Board nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits. Any changes to current law would need to be done through the legislative process," stated a spokeswoman.

The possibility of Chauvin receiving such a large benefit will likely serve as a call to action for system reform as people will continue to demand the defunding of police departments and improved money distribution to social services including youth, special needs, and community development.

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