Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who killed George Floyd who was black, had his bail set at US$1.25 million on Monday.
Chauvin who was arrested on May 29 attended the Hennepin County Courthouse hearing through a video feed from prison and currently faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter which carry a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank, while arguing for a higher than usual bail amount of US$1.25 million for Chauvin, stated that Floyd’s killing had “created a strong reaction in the community, to put it mildly.”
“One is the likelihood to flee from the jurisdiction because of not only the severity of the charges but the strength of the community’s opinion,” said Prosecutor Frank while making his case. “And secondly, because of the severity of those charges a significant amount of bail is warranted.”
Chauvin’s bail could be lowered to US$1 million by presiding Judge Jeannice Reding on the conditions that Chauvin must surrender his firearms, remain in the state until trial, not work in law enforcement at any capacity and avoid any contact with Floyd’s family.
In his next court appearance on June 29, Chauvin will be allowed to enter a plea and the state will provide its evidence against him.
The other three former officers who were accused of aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s murder, had their bail set at US$750,000 last Thursday in the Hennepin County Courthouse.
While Tou Thao, who stopped passersby from intervening during the scene of Floyd’s killing is cooperating with the authorities, lawyers of the other two former police officers who helped restrain Floyd have placed the blame on Chauvin.
They argued that their clients Thomas Lane and Alexander Keung were both rookie officers who were under Chauvin’s training.
Earl Gray, Lane’s attorney stated that Lane had tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Floyd to revive him.
“Where is the willful intent?” he questioned.
Keung’s lawyer, Thomas Plunkett said that Keung had also questioned Chauvin’s actions.
“You shouldn’t be doing this,” Keung had told Chauvin.
All officers have their next court appearance scheduled for June 29.
Floyd’s death has sparked protests across the country and worldwide, demanding defunding of the police and other reforms that target systemic racism and excessive force used by law enforcement officers.
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