MINNEAPOLIS, MN—On Friday, May 29, Kellie Chauvin filed for a divorce from her ex-police officer husband Derek Chauvin.

Derek was charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter earlier that day after a viral video showed him kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for over 7 minutes, allegedly causing the victim’s death.

Kellie’s law firm, Sekula Family Law, released a statement on behalf of her and her family:

“This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin. 

While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time.”

Kellie was born in Laos in 1974 and fled with her family to a refugee camp in Thailand, where they remained until she turned three. She had been married to a reportedly abusive husband for 10 years prior to her meeting Derek. Kellie divorced her previous husband and moved to Minnesota. 

She met Derek in Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis – incidentally, the same place that Floyd was pronounced dead. Kellie became the first Hmong Mrs. Minnesota in 2018. 

In a 2018 interview with Twin Cities , she said of Derek: “under all that uniform, he’s just a softie. He’s such a gentleman. He still opens the door for me, still puts my coat on for me. After my divorce, I had a list of must-haves if I were ever to be in a relationship, and he fit all of them.”

The couple have been married for around 10 years.

The divorce filing announcement has been met with opposing sentiments. While some social media users have expressed their well wishes for Kellie and her family, others claim that the divorce is a ploy to keep control of their assets.

@eshaayzzz on Twitter said that “divorcing will protect the assets from the impending civil suit. common practice before a civil suit from someone not confident they’ll win. I’d take the fact she’s been married to him almost 20 years and stood by him while he nearly killed another POC as a sign it’s to save $$.”

It is believed by some that Kellie may be the sister of another police officer involved in Floyd’s death, Tou Thao.