• Kellive Chauvin was born in Laos and spent the first three years of her life in a Thailand refugee camp
  • She met Derek Chauvin at a Minneapolis hosptial where she worked in the ER
  • She was crowned Mrs. Minnesota in October 2018

It is almost impossible not to make a rush to judgment against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was fired and then charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

The video clearly shows a distressed Floyd lying on the pavement struggling to breathe as the officer presses his knee against Floyd's neck, allegedly causing his death and leading to unrest in cities across the country.

Derek Chauvin will eventually have his day in court. But unlike political figures, whose wives and mothers stand by their men accused or convicted of serious crimes, Chauvin will face his trial as a single man.

Chauvin’s wife, Kellie, is seeking a “dissolution of her marriage,” according to her attorneys and media reports. A statement on behalf of her read, “She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death. Her utmost sympathy lies with his family, his loved ones, and with everyone who is grieving. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage.”

Kellie is not your typical housewife. She was the subject of a June 30, 2019, article written by Conan Altatis for the Conan Daily news site. The article was written after she had been crowned United States of America’s Mrs. Minnesota in October, 2018. Born in Laos in 1974, she was the first woman of Hmong descent to win the title.

The article had other biographical details about her:

  • She spent her first three years from 1974 to 1977 in a refugee camp in Thailand.
  • In October of 1980, she and her family moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
  • In 1991, she was married off by her parents in an arranged marriage to a man she barely knew. The union resulted in two sons and 10 years of abuse at the hands of her husband, who died shortly after their divorce in 2001.
  • She eventually moved to Minnesota, earned an associate degree in radiology, eventually working in the ER of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, a job she held for 13 years.
  • It was at the hospital where she met Chauvin who brought in a crime suspect for a health check before an arrest. They were married in 2010.
  • She was a realtor at the time of the article's writing.

The video of Derek Chauvin pinning his knee into Floyd's neck has prompted massive demonstrations across the country. In Minneapolis, rioters torched a police station Thursday night and looters ransacked businesses. On Friday, violent confrontations between demonstrations and police were reported in Atlanta, New York City, Washington, D.C., and other cities.

A Minneapolis police officer holds his knee to the neck of George Floyd, who died in police custody.
A Minneapolis police officer holds his knee to the neck of George Floyd, who died in police custody. Facebook/Darnella Frazier / Darnella Frazier

Derek is charged with one count of third-degree murder (punishable by up to 25 years in prison) and one count of manslaughter (punishable by up to 10 years). The three other officers involved in the tragedy have not been charged but authorities did not rule out eventually charging them.

It is not unusual for wives of men facing long prison terms to seek a divorce but to announce the filing on the same day as the arrest may indicate that some details of the marriage may emerge before Derek Chauvin has his trial.