Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was released from custody Wednesday afternoon after posting a $1 million bond according to local media in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Chauvin is one of four officers charged in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whom Chauvin is accused of killing during an arrest that took place back in May. Floyd’s arrest and, ultimately, his death, were captured on video, which also shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck in an effort to restrain the man. An autopsy later showed that asphyxiation was the proximate cause of Floyd’s death, though there were reportedly other factors.
Floyd’s death, of course, set off a firestorm and inspired massive anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests across the country. In Minneapolis, those protests quickly gave way to violent and destructive riots that, at last count, are likely to cost the city itself millions and Minneapolis business owners millions more. It also seemed to set off a spike in violent crime; Minneapolis has had more murders in the first six months of 2020 than it had in all of 2019.
Floyd’s death also set off a heated debate around defunding and dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department — a debate which ultimately fizzled when the city’s Charter Commission, which authorizes specific measures for balloting, refused to permit the Minneapolis City Council to place the issue on the November election ballot without a clear plan to replace necessary law enforcement.
Chauvin, who was being held at the Oak Park Heights prison pending trial, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in Floyd’s death — charges which could earn him more than a decade in prison if he’s found guilty — and, as of last week, his bail had been set at either $1 million with conditions or $1.25 million without conditions, per CBS Minneapolis.
“Chauvin, 44, was being held at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, where he had been also appearing in court remotely for all but the most recent hearing during which he and the other three officers charged — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — appeared in person,” the outlet reported. “WCCO has learned that Chauvin left the facility at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday to be transferred to Hennepin County Jail in order to post bail.”
“According to state court records, Chauvin posted a non-cash bond guaranteed by Allegheny Casualty,” CBS Minneapolis continued. Fox News added that Chauvin’s paperwork lists A-Affordable Bail Bonds of Brainerd, Minnesota, as his guarantor. It is not known whether the other three officers will also post bail.
“The other three officers at the scene, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting. They previously posted bail amounts of $750,000 and have been freed pending trial. Currently, all four men are scheduled to face trial together in March, but the judge is weighing a request to have them tried separately,” Fox News added.
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