Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, has been released from jail on a $1,000,000 non-cash bond, Minnesota court documents filed Wednesday show.
Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and became motionless. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Gov. Tim Walz has activated the National Guard “out of an abundance of caution" in light of public safety concerns. In addition to 100 soldiers, Walz said 100 state troopers and 75 Department of Natural Resources conservation officers were also mobilized to help local authorities.
Floyd's family lawyer Ben Crump issued a statement about Chauvin's release, calling it, "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. ... We will not rest until he is afforded full justice in death. The civil litigation team looks forward to our day in court,” Crump said in the written statement.
Allegheny Casualty Company is listed as the surety for Chauvin on a court document. A surety bond requires someone to sign an agreement to pay the bond amount, if the defendant violates the conditions of the bond.
Among the conditions for release included in previously-filed court documents: Chauvin is to have no direct contact with the victim's family, he is not allowed to work in law enforcement or security, and he cannot leave the state without court permission.
It was not immediately clear where Chauvin got the money to pay his bond. In Minnesota, someone who posts bond is required to pay 10%, in this case $100,000, to the bail bond company. Then, the company and the defendant work out an arrangement for collateral to back all or part of the rest of the bond amount, said Mike Brandt, a criminal defense attorney who is not connected to the case.
The Department of Corrections confirmed Chauvin was no longer in custody at the state's facility in Oak Park Heights, where he had been detained.
Online court documents say Chauvin is due in court March 8, 2021.
Floyd's killing, captured on video, sparked worldwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality.
Defense attorneys for Chauvin have asked a judge to dismiss the murder charges against him, arguing that Floyd's alleged drug use, not the improper use of force by the officer, was to blame for his death.
Three other officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four were fired.
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.