Derek Chauvin, former MPD officer charged in killing of George Floyd, released from prison on $1 million bond

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Derek Chauvin, one of the four former officers charged in the killing of George Floyd, has been released from prison on bond, according to Hennepin County records.

Chauvin, who was seen in a widespread video with his knee on Floyd’s neck, was released from the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights at 11:22 a.m. Wednesday.

Under the conditions of Chauvin’s release, he is required to follow instructions of probation, is not allowed to leave the state, is not permitted to possess firearms or ammo and is not allowed to contact Floyd’s family.

Following the fatal arrest of Floyd, the former officer was held at the Hennepin and Ramsey county jails prior to being transferred to the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights.

According to the DOC, the Oak Park Heights facility is the highest custody level in Minnesota’s prison system. Many of the inmates at the prison "need a higher level of security."

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

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.

Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson did not respond to our request for comment.

“I won’t sleep tonight,” said Selwyn Jones, George Floyd’s uncle.

He said it was difficult to hear that Chauvin was released from custody.

“One person, just happened to be my nephew, started a movement that could change the whole world,” said Jones. “My big buddy going away to make a change but today that was a setback, that was a tremendous setback.”

He told us, however, he was not surprised and called it “inevitable”. Jones believes Chauvin should be facing more serious charges.

He said Chauvin’s release illustrates a need for systemic changes.

“You’ve seen a grown man plead, beg, call for mom, tell them not to kill me and he died and the dude that killed him is walking around the streets […] you’re going to tell me this system is right?” said Jones. “He can go get a pizza, he can go get a movie.”

“Guess what? My nephew don’t get to do any of that anymore because of hatred and racism, power and control.”

Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Floyd family, released the following statement relating to Chauvin’s release:

”Derek Chauvin’s release on bond is a painful reminder to George Floyd’s family that we are still far from achieving justice for George. The system of due process worked for Chauvin and afforded him his freedom while he awaits trial. In contrast, George Floyd was denied due process, when his life was ended over a $20 bill. There was no charge, no arrest, no hearing, no bail. Just execution. Although George Floyd was denied justice in life, we will not rest until he is afforded full justice in death. The civil litigation team looks forward to our day in court.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison issued the following statement:

"We have received news that Derek Chauvin has been released on bail. In Minnesota, all offenses are eligible for bail and all defendants have a constitutional right to post bail. We expect Mr. Chauvin to abide by all the conditions the court has imposed on his release and to attend all hearings and the trial. We urge everyone to remember that the process of justice is moving forward. His release will have no effect on our pursuit of justice."

Rep. Ilhan Omar also issued a statement on the update on Twitter in a series of tweets.

"Unjust system: black men across the country sit in jail without having been convicted of a single crime. And for nonviolent crimes. Meanwhile, everyone involved in the murder of George Floyd has been released, including the man who knelt on his neck for 8 minutes & 46 seconds. Young Black men are 50% more likely to be detained pretrial than white defendants. Avg bail for Black/brown defendants is twice as high – and they’re less likely to afford it."

"We can’t fix our broken justice system without fixing our broken bail system."

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