Two people are suing ex-police officer Derek Chauvin for allegedly kneeling on their necks in the same way he killed George Floyd in 2020.

John Pope Jr. and Zoya Code, two Black Minneapolis residents are both accusing Chauvin of racism and of using excessive force in separate incidents that took place five years ago, ABC News reported.

In Sept. 2017 Pope, who was 14 years old at the time alleges Chauvin was responding to a domestic call when he entered the teen’s bedroom, struck him with a flashlight and then at some point placed his knee on the teen’s neck while Pope cried out for help and repeatedly stated he could not breathe, the New York Post reported.

A suit filed on Tuesday alleges, “Defendant Chauvin then executed his signature move: he pinned John to the floor with his body weight, pressing his left knee into John’s upper back and neck. …Chauvin would proceed to hold John in this prone position for more than fifteen minutes, all while John was completely subdued and not resisting.”

Code alleges Chauvin exhibited similar behavior in June 2017 when he was investigating an assault report made by her mother. At some point he handcuffed Code and placed his knee on her neck for nearly five minutes, Fox 9 reported.

The complaint alleges, “Outside the residence, Defendant Chauvin gratuitously slammed Zoya’s unprotected head on the ground. Then he immediately took his signature pose, kneeing on the back of Zoya’s neck.”

Pope and Code are also suing the city of Minneapolis for refusing to discipline Chauvin for his pattern and practice of misconduct, ABC News reported.

Interim City Attorney Peter Ginder said in a statement, “The incidents involving John Pope and Zoya Code are disturbing. We intend to move forward in negotiations with the Plaintiffs on these two matters and hope we can reach a reasonable settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached on one or both lawsuits, the disputes will have to be resolved through the normal course of litigation.”

Minneapolis civil rights attorney Robert Bennett is representing both plaintiffs and is known for negotiating a $20 million settlement for Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s family, after a Minneapolis police officer fatally wounded the Australian woman in 2017. He also negotiated a nearly $3 million settlement for Philando Castile’s family after he was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer in 2016, ABC News reported. 

In 2021 Chauvin was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison for killing Floyd on May 25, 2020. He now awaits sentencing for his conviction of federal civil rights charges. The pre-sentence investigations for officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng are ongoing. In May 2022 Lane pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to three years—which is below state sentencing guideline.

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