MINNEAPOLIS – The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd posted bail on Wednesday and was released from prison.
According to court documents, Derek Chauvin posted a $1 million bond and was released from the state’s facility in Oak Park Heights, where he had been detained. Hennepin County jail records show he was released shortly before 11:30 a.m.
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 couldn’t 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, J. 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. In Minnesota, someone who posts bond must pay 10%, in this case $100,000, to the bond company and have collateral, such as a house, to back the full amount. A message left with the company that posted the bond, Allegheny Casualty Company, was not immediately returned.
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.
The website GiveSendGo.com, which says it is a free Christian crowdfunding site, has a Derek Chauvin Bail Fund that says it was created by his family. According to the site, as of midday Wednesday that fund raised $4,198 of its $125,000 goal, with donations from more than 35 people. A posting on the site dated Sept. 12 said it took time to set up a fundraising effort due to the high-profile nature of the case.
Chauvin had the option of posting bail for $1.25 million without conditions or $1 million with conditions. Under the conditions of his release, he must attend all court appearances, cannot have any direct or indirect contact — including social media contact — with any members of Floyd’s family, cannot work in law enforcement or security, and must not possess any firearms ammunition.
Chauvin’s attorney had no comment Wednesday.
Chauvin’s wife, Kellie Chauvin, filed for divorce shortly after Floyd’s death. The records in that case have since been sealed and Kellie Chauvin’s divorce attorney didn’t immediately reply to a message seeking comment.
In July, the Chauvins were charged with multiple felony counts of tax evasion for allegedly failing to report income from various jobs, including more than $95,000 from Derek Chauvin’s off-duty security work. The criminal complaints in that case allege that from 2014 through 2019, the Chauvins underreported their joint income by $464,433 and owe the state $37,868 in unpaid taxes, interest and fees.
The tax evasion case also listed other assets, including the couple’s second home in Florida and a $100,000 BMW.
The Chauvin home in the St. Paul suburb of Oakdale was sold on Aug. 28 for $279,000, which was $26,000 less than the price it was listed at a month after Floyd’s death, according to online real estate records. It was not clear where Chauvin was staying after his release, but one of the conditions of his bail was that he not leave Minnesota without permission.
The other three officers charged in Floyd’s death had previously posted bond 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.