A judge in the United States state of Minnesota cited safety concerns Friday as he issued new bail conditions for an ex-Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd that would allow him to live in a neighbouring state while he awaits trial.
Derek Chauvin posted $1m bond on Wednesday and was allowed to leave the maximum security state prison where he had been held since shortly after his arrest.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said the Minnesota Department of Corrections, which is supervising Chauvin while he is on release, presented evidence in private “supporting safety concerns that have arisen”.
The order did not say what that evidence entailed.
Floyd died on May 25 after Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for several minutes as the handcuffed Black man pleaded for air.
His death, which was captured on video and shared online, prompted mass protests against police violence and anti-Black racism across the US and around the world over the past several months.
Demonstrators march through south Minneapolis after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with George Floyd’s murder, posted bail [Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters]Chauvin was later charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The ex-officer’s release from prison triggered two nights of protests in Minneapolis and Saint Paul this week, and prompted Governor Tim Walz to mobilise US National Guard troops and state law enforcement officers.
Three other sacked former police officers, who also face charges in relation to Floyd’s death, were released on bond earlier. Their trial is set for March.
Chauvin’s previous conditions prohibited him from leaving Minnesota without court permission and ordered him to sign extradition waivers if he was released.
Under the new conditions, he “must establish residency somewhere in the State of Minnesota or a contiguous state as soon as possible” and report it to his supervising officer.
His address will be shared with local law enforcement, but must be kept confidential.
The former officer must also carry a mobile phone and keep it on, charged and in range so that the department of corrections can reach him at all times. He must also surrender his passport.
Cahill’s order said the defence and prosecution had agreed to the new terms.