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Derek Chauvin went on shopping trips disguised in a baseball cap and sunglasses during his trial for the murder of George Floyd, the head of his security detail has revealed.
Scott Yelle oversaw Chauvin’s personal protection for 44 days during his trial this year, and told Inside Edition of the extraordinary lengths he went to to keep “potentially the most hated man in the world” alive.
Mr Yelle said the former Minneapolis police officer was kept in a safe house in Wisconsin and driven 35 miles in a convoy of bulletproof SUVs to the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis each day.
Every SUV carried mace and gas masks, and members of the security team wore body armour to guard against the risk of someone shooting, throwing rocks, bricks or Molotov cocktails at the car.
“This was some agitator’s Super Bowl,” he told Inside Edition.
Mr Yelle said he monitored Snapchat every day on his way into the court to look for “heatmaps” where protesters had congregated.
The threat to Chauvin’s life was deemed so high that they even refused the court-provided food for fear of poisoning.
“We wanted everybody to make sure that they didn’t do anything that they would regret so we just eliminated the lunches all together.”
During the month and a half in protection Mr Yelle said he only saw Chauvin express any remorse on one occasion.
“I said, ‘Is there anything I can do for you?’ And he said, ‘You can take me back a year.’”
The few times Chauvin was allowed out he would don a disguise of a baseball cap and sunglasses, Mr Yelle said.
He described Chauvin as having an almost obsessive, compulsive personality.
Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe.
It was an act captured on bystander video, which prompted protests around the world.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder in June.
The trial cost Hennepin County $3.7million for security and other costs.