George Floyd’s death could have been prevented on various levels. However, one Minneapolis man says that it could have been prevented as early as 2008.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Ira Latrell Toles said that he was assaulted and shot in the stomach at close range by Derek Chauvin, an officer identified in connection to the murder of Floyd. According to Toles, Chauvin and several other officers entered his home unannounced in response to a domestic violence call.
“If he was reprimanded when he shot me, George Floyd would still be alive,” said Toles
The incident took place during the early morning hours of May 24, 2008. Toles, who was 21 at the time, admits that his child’s mother called the police on him that night, but he was still surprised when officers barged into his home unannounced. When officers entered his home, Toles ran to the bathroom, which is where the assault and shooting occurred.
“When I saw that he 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 said that Chauvin immediately began hitting him and his natural reaction was to return the blows.
“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.”
Officers alleged that Toles was shot because he reached for Chauvin’s gun, but the now-33-year-old IT professional tells a different story.
“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 does not recall being shot, but he does remember “being walked through the apartment until I collapsed in the main entrance where I was left to bleed until the paramedics came.”
Toles was taken to a local hospital where he remained for three days. At the hospital, he learned that he was shot at such close range that the bullet entered his stomach, went through his groin, and exited his left butt cheek. Upon his release, he was immediately taken to court and charged with two felony counts of obstructing legal process or arrest and a misdemeanor count of domestic assault. He spent a couple of days in jail, where he was denied pain medication, and was released. Chauvin and the other officers involved in the altercation were placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation but were later placed back on duty.
“I knew he would do something again,” Toles said. “I wish we had smartphones back then.”