Bond raised to $1M for officer charged in George Floyd’s death

George Floyd

A man with a face covering walks past a mural depicting George Floyd during a protest over the death of Floyd Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A judge on Monday set $1 million bail for a Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree murder in George Floyd’s death.

Derek Chauvin, 44, said almost nothing during an 11-minute hearing in which he appeared before Hennepin County Judge Denise Reilly on closed-circuit television from the state’s maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights. His attorney, Eric Nelson, did not contest the bail — raised from the $500,000 initially set in the case — and didn’t address the substance of the charges, which also include third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Nelson did not speak with reporters afterward.

Chauvin’s next appearance was set for June 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died May 25 after the white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air. His death set off protests, some violent, in Minneapolis that swiftly spread to cities around the U.S. and the globe. Chauvin and three other officers on the scene were fired the day after Floyd’s death.

The other three officers — J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting. They remain in the Hennepin County jail on $750,000 bond.

Lane’s family has set up a website seeking donations to help him post bond. The site highlights Lane’s relative lack of experience — he had only recently completed his probationary period — and his questions to Chauvin about whether Floyd should be rolled onto his side. It also noted his volunteer work.

Floyd’s death has ignited calls to reform the Minneapolis Police Department, which community activists have long accused of entrenched racial discrimination and brutality. A majority of Minneapolis City Council members said Sunday that they favor disbanding the department entirely, though they have yet to offer concrete plans for what would replace it.

“Nobody is saying we want to abolish health or safety,” Council Member Alondra Cano told WCCO-AM on Monday. “What we are saying is we have a broken system that is not producing the outcomes we want.”

The state last week launched a civil rights investigation of the department. On Friday, the council approved a stipulated agreement that immediately banned the use of chokeholds and neck restraints and included several other changes. That investigation is ongoing.

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Associated Press writer Todd Richmond contributed from Madison, Wis.

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