Former police officer has been in custody since May for the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd. His release has sparked another round of protests.
Trigger Warning: Violence against Black folks, racism, police brutality
Former police officer Derek Chauvin has spent the past few months in jail, awaiting trial for the murder and manslaughter of unarmed Black man George Floyd. On Wednesday, he was finally released after posting $100,000 through a bail bond agency, The New York Times reports. This amount was 10 percent of the total bail amount—a whopping $1 million. Chauvin, who is White, was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and currently faces charges for second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, ultimately killing him.
Chauvin was held in custody since May ever since he was first charged with third-degree murder. Charges, which include second-degree murder, were raised in June by Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s Attorney General. Following the former officer's release from custody, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz mobilized 100 members of the Minnesota National Guard “out of an abundance of caution,” reportedly at the request of leaders in Minneapolis. The city was embroiled in demonstrations following Floyd's murder and similar protests are apparently expected to shock the city.
It is unclear where the accused murderer will reside or how he will be received. The country has, of course, been completely reshaped by his crime. As per the conditions of his release, Chauvin will be expected to stay in Minnesota until his trial takes place. At present, it is scheduled to occur in March next year. The home he owned with his former wife, however, was sold for $279,000 in late August. Other conditions include surrendering any guns he may have access to, not taking any job in law enforcement, as well as avoiding any contact with Floyd’s family. Chauvin's attorney Eric J Nelson is currently preparing for his trial.
As per recent court filings, Nelson has plans to shift the blame away from his client and toward the two rookie officers who also responded to the scene. Three officers who were present at the scene alongside Chauvin were also terminated from their jobs. They were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Chauvin has, furthermore, asked a judge to move the trial away from the state of Minneapolis in addition to holding separate trials for each of the officers. It is unclear if the judge will comply with these requests. Floyd's death lead to protests across the country—and beyond—so it is likely that his killer's release, too, will result in mass demonstrations.