Ira Latrell Toles (pictured) described how Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin nearly killed him while responding to a domestic violence call in 2008
The Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck during an arrest almost killed another black man during a domestic violence call 12 years ago.
Alarming details about Officer Derek Chauvin’s long history of use-of-force incidents have flooded out in the wake of George Floyd’s death on Monday night.
A viral video captured the moment Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while the handcuffed suspect repeatedly cried out that he couldn’t breathe and ultimately suffocated.
Now Ira Latrell Toles has come forward with his story about how Chauvin barged into his home and beat him up in a bathroom before shooting him twice at close range while responding to a domestic violence call in 2008.
Toles, 33, told the Daily Beast he didn’t immediately recognize Chauvin in the video from the Floyd confrontation, but made the connection later Tuesday night when news outlets identified him as one of four officers involved.
‘The officer that killed that guy might be the one that shot me,’ Toles texted his sister on Tuesday night. ‘They said his last name and I think it was him.’
‘It’s him,’ his sister replied instantly.
A viral video captured the moment Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while the handcuffed suspect repeatedly cried out that he couldn’t breathe and ultimately suffocated
Floyd’s death sparked violent protests and riots in the Minneapolis and fevered calls for Chauvin to be charged with murder. Protesters are seen outside the ex-officer’s home
Protesters threw red pain and scrawled the word ‘MURDERER’ in Chauvin’s driveway
Floyd’s death sparked violent protests and riots in the Minneapolis and fevered calls for Chauvin to be arrested and charged with murder.
‘Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail? If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now,’ Mayor Jacob Frey said in a news conference.
Toles believes that Floyd’s horrific death wouldn’t have happened if Chauvin was properly punished for his violent arrest more than a decade ago.
He said Chauvin received a mere slap on the wrist for the incident, which left Toles, then 21, with a permanent bullet hole in his stomach and led to him pleading guilty to a mere misdemeanor charge.
‘If he was reprimanded when he shot me, George Floyd would still be alive,’ Toles told the Daily Beast.
Toles said he believes Floyd (pictured) would still be alive if Chauvin had been properly punished following his violent arrest in 2008
Officers responded to the domestic violence call at Toles’ apartment just before 2am on May 24, 2008, according to authorities and local media reports at the time.
The 911 operator who fielded the call could hear a woman shouting for somebody to stop hitting her.
Toles admitted that the mother of his child had called the cops on him that night, but said he was surprised when several officers arrived without announcing themselves.
‘When I saw that [Chauvin] breached the front door, I ran in the bathroom,’ Toles said. ‘Then [Chauvin] starts kicking in that door. I was in the bathroom with a cigarette and no lighter.’
Toles described how Chauvin broke into the bathroom and started to beat him without warning.
He said he returned blows to the officer because ‘my natural reaction to someone hitting me is to stop them from hitting me’.
‘All I could do is assume it was the police because they didn’t announce themselves or ever give me a command,’ he said.
‘I didn’t know what to think when he started hitting me. I swear he was hitting me with the gun.’
Local media reported that Chauvin shot Toles after he allegedly reached for the officer’s gun.
The morning after Floyd protests erupted in violence and fires in Minneapolis, protesters assembled outside Chauvin’s home
At least a dozen protesters gathered at the former officer’s home with signs demanding that he face justice for Floyd’s killing
A demonstrator holding a sign jumps up and down so police officers behind the front lines at Chauvin’s home could see it
Toles said he doesn’t remember being shot but recalled officers walking him out of the apartment ‘until I collapsed in the main entrance where I was left to bleed until the paramedics came’.
He was taken to the hospital, where he learned that Chauvin had shot him at such close range that one of the bullets went through his groin and out the other side, landing in the bathroom wall.
That wound never fully healed and is so large that Toles can still stick a finger inside it.
Toles is pictured in an undated Facebook photo. He said he is considering suing the Minneapolis Police Department over the 2008 incident
After he was released from the hospital Toles was taken directly to court, where he was charged with two felony counts of obstructing legal process or arrest and a misdemeanor count of domestic assault.
He maintains that the felony counts should have never happened.
‘I would assume my reaction would be to try to stop him from hitting me. If his first reaction was hitting me in the face that means I can’t see and I’m too disoriented to first locate his gun and then try to take it from him and for what?’ Toles said.
‘To turn a misdemeanor disorderly situation into a felony situation that could have resulted in me dying? He tried to kill me in that bathroom.’
Toles spent a couple days in jail, without pain pills, before he was released. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge under a deal with prosecutors three months later.
Chauvin and the other officers involved in Toles’ arrest were placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation but were later put back in the field.
‘I knew he would do something again,’ Toles said. ‘I wish we had smartphones back then.’
Toles said he is hopeful that Floyd’s death and the ensuing outrage will finally bring change and reform to the Minneapolis Police Department.
‘We’ve all reached our tipping point. Water boils at 212 degrees,’ he said. ‘We’re at 600.’
He also said that he is looking into filing a lawsuit against the department for the 2008 incident.
Scores of people were seen in the streets as fires raged around them amid conflicts with police over Floyd’s death
Aerial shots taken Thursday show a trail of destruction in the wake of protests Wednesday evening
The fire department said Thursday they were called out to around 30 fires along Lake Street the previous evening, with rocks thrown damaging their equipment. At least 16 fires involved damage to buildings, they said
An aerial photo made with a drone shows firefighters battling fires set near the Minneapolis police 3rd Precinct, during a third day of protests over the arrest of George Floyd
Two officers in Floyd killing had a history of using excessive force
Chauvin and three other officers – Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department in response to Floyd’s death.
It has since emerged that both Chauvin and Thao had previously been accused of using excessive force.
Chauvin, who joined the force in 2001, was the subject of 10 prior complaints but only ever received two verbal reprimands.
Tou Thao (pictured) was one of the four officers fired over Floyd’s killing
In 2006, Chauvin was one of six officers involved in the in the fatal shooting of 42-year-old Wayne Reyes, who allegedly stabbed two people before turning a gun on police.
That same year he named in a lawsuit filed by an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility. The case was dismissed in 2007.
In 2011, Chauvin was one of five officers placed on a standard three-day leave after the non-fatal shooting of a Native American man.
The department ultimately determined that the officers acted ‘appropriately’ and allowed them to return to work.
Thao was sued for using excessive force in 2017 after he was accused of punching and kicking a handcuffed suspect ‘until his teeth broke’.
That case concluded with a $25,000 out of court settlement, according to documents obtained by DailyMail.com.
The remaining two officers fired over the Floyd confrontation – Lane and Kueng – were both rookie cops who were still in their probationary periods, according to the StarTribune.