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8 Jun, 2020 20:11

Former cop Derek Chauvin appears in court over George Floyd’s murder, with bail set at $1.25mn

Former cop Derek Chauvin appears in court over George Floyd’s murder, with bail set at $1.25mn

The former Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd has appeared in court for the first time over the death. Floyd’s killing while in police custody sparked widespread protests against police brutality.

Derek Chauvin appeared at the short hearing at Hennepin County District Court via video link, and the judge set bail at $1.25 million without conditions or $1 million with conditions. According to the terms outlined, if posting the lower bail amount, Chauvin would have to avoid contact with Floyd’s family, and refrain from handling firearms and conducting any police work. 

Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder without intent, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His next court appearance is set for June 29. He did not enter any plea during Monday's hearing.

The charges came four days after Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes on May 25, while arresting him on suspicion of using a fake $20 bill, despite Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s final moments were recorded on camera by a bystander and went viral online, drawing widespread condemnation and provoking a nationwide anti-police brutality movement that has since spread overseas.

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The eyewitness footage also showed three other police officers on site – two of them, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, assisted Chauvin in holding Floyd down, while the third, Tou Thao, stood by. The three are being held at the Hennepin County Jail on $1 million bail without conditions or $750,000 bail with conditions, and are also scheduled to make their next court appearance on June 29.

All four officers were initially fired over Floyd’s killing before being charged. On Sunday, Minneapolis City Council announced it had decided to disband the police department, although it’s not yet clear how this will be facilitated.

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