Protesters rallied Wednesday night in Minneapolis to express outrage over the release of Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, CNN affiliate WCCO reported.
Chauvin faces counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25 killing. Video captured Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes as Floyd told him and three other officers he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin posted bond on $1 million bail Wednesday, court records indicate. “I can confirm he is no longer in our custody,” said Sarah Fitzgerald, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
According WCCO, hundreds of mostly peaceful protesters converged on East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue on Wednesday night to protest the former officer’s release. Other demonstrators were also present at the Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct building off of 31st Street and Nicollet Avenue, WCCO reported.
Several people were arrested, and around 10:30 p.m., the Minnesota State Patrol ordered the demonstrators to leave the area, WCCO said.
CNN has reached out to the Minneapolis Police Department for comment.
Gov. Tim Walz office mobilized 100 guardsmen, along with 100 state troopers and 75 conservation officers, WCCO reported. Walz says the decision was made at the request of city leaders in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death sparked outrage with demonstrators taking to the streets of many American cities – as well as some international locales – to decry police brutality and racial injustice.
Chauvin’s next court date is set for March 8, according to a notice of appearance.
Chauvin was released from Oak Park Heights Correctional Facility, east of Minneapolis, just after 11 a.m., the Hennepin County Jail roster indicates. His release was conditional, according to records, though the specifics were not immediately available.
It’s not clear who paid the bail bond company, or how much. Minnesota law allows bondsmen to charge a maximum of 10% of the bail amount – in this case, up to $100,000.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which maintains a legal defense fund, did not put up the money, a spokesman said. The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
In August, Chauvin asked a judge to dismiss the charges against him, saying there is no probable cause to support them, according to court documents.
Prosecutors contend that Floyd’s killing was so cruel that, if Chauvin and the other officers are convicted, they want to see stricter sentencing than the recommended guidelines permit. One aggravating circumstance is that Floyd was in handcuffs when the officers pinned him to the ground and Chauvin knelt on him.
“Mr. Floyd was treated with particular cruelty,” prosecutors wrote. “Despite Mr. Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe and was going to die, as well as the pleas of eyewitnesses to get off Mr. Floyd and help him, (the) defendant and his codefendants continued to restrain Mr. Floyd.”
All four officers were fired.
The other three ex-policemen, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Kiernan Lane and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
They’ve also filed motions to have the charges against them dismissed.
CNN’s Carma Hassan and Andy Rose contributed to this report.