The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd has posted bail and was released from prison on Wednesday.
According to court documents, Derek Chauvin posted $1m bail, and the Department of Corrections confirmed he was no longer in custody at the state’s facility in Oak Park Heights, where he had been detained. Hennepin County jail records show he was released shortly before 11:30am (16:30 GMT).
A memorial to George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota [Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters]Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd said he could not breathe. Floyd’s death was captured in widely seen bystander video that set off protests around the world. Chauvin and three other officers were fired.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter; Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
It was not immediately clear where Chauvin got the money to pay his bond. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which has a legal defence fund, did not provide any money for bail, a spokeswoman said. A message left with the union representing Minneapolis police officers was not returned.
Former Minneapolis police officers, clockward from top left, Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng pose in a combination of booking photographs [Minnesota Department of Corrections and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters]Chauvin had the option of posting bail for $1.25m without conditions or $1m with conditions. Under the conditions of his release, he must attend all court appearances, cannot have any direct or indirect contact – including social media – with any members of Floyd’s family, cannot work in law enforcement or security, and surrendering firearms.
The other three officers previously posted bail amounts of $750,000 and have been free 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.