The Cop Who Kneeled on George Floyd's Neck Has Been Released From Prison

Derek Chauvin posted $1 million non-cash bail, and his release will have some conditions.
October 7, 2020, 7:43pm
Carter Sims, 3, of Pine Island, Minn., runs past a mural at the George Floyd memorial outside Cup Foods, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.  (Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via AP)

The former Minneapolis cop facing murder charges for George Floyd’s death, which set off months of protests against police brutality and discrimination in the Black community, has been released from custody.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was released from the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, where he’s been held since May 31 following his arrest on murder and manslaughter charges, according to a notice from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office. He was transferred to Hennepin County Jail sometime Wednesday morning, according to WCCO-CBS 4, and he posted $1 million non-cash bail, meaning the court-appointed amount was paid for by a third party in his stead. The bond was guaranteed by Allegheny Casualty Company.

Chauvin’s release will have some conditions: The former cop will have to surrender all of his weapons, make all of his court appearances, have zero contact with the family of George Floyd, and agree to not leave the state of Minnesota.

He is the last of the four officers involved in Floyd’s fatal May 25 arrest to be released from prison. Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, who have all been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, all posted $750,000 bail in June and July.

Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the force, was directly responsible for Floyd’s death after placing his knee on the Black man’s neck while he was handcuffed. Floyd, a 46-year-old father of five, was seen on bystander video begging for his life for more than eight minutes, as Chauvin refused to let up and accompanying officers failed to intervene even as onlookers pleaded for him to stop.

Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department the next day. He was arrested May 29 before eventually being charged with second-degree and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. In the weeks that followed Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Chauvin was previously involved in at least two police shootings, one of which was fatal. 

The trial is currently set for March 8, 2021. Last month, the four officers requested having separate trials from one another in the upcoming court procedures in hopes of avoiding more severe jail time.