The senseless murder of George Floyd reignited the fight against injustice as it relates to the lives of black Americans and their often fateful encounters with police officers. With the embers of protests still warm, the officer accused of killing Floyd as been freed from prison.
Local Minneapolis news outlet Fox 9 obtained details regarding the release of Derek Chauvin after he posted a $1 million dollar to go free from the maximum-security Oak Park Heights prison and will now have months to ponder his actions ahead of his March 8 trial in 2021 as he faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter charges.
The bond was reportedly paid on Monday by A-Affordable Bail Bonds of Brainerd, Minnesota, and processed Wednesday. Chauvin’s release was confirmed by a Minnesota Department of Corrections official, with a signed time of 10:34 a.m. local time.
Since the end of May, Chauvin was housed in the Oak Park Heights prison after he was moved from the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center in St. Paul, this as reports from national outlets stated he was given preferential treatment.
Chauvin’s partner Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng are all awaiting trial in March, as well, with all of the former Minneapolis officers facing one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All four officers were fired a day after Floyd’s passing amid citywide protests that cropped up nationwide in support.
In a matter of four days, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter ahead of the latest list of charges read publicly by Attorney General Keith Ellison. Chauvin was depicted in video footage kneeling on Floyd’s neck, who cried out for help as the officers looked on while bystanders recorded the horrific moment on their smartphone cameras.
The news of Chauvin’s release comes just as reports are coming in that a mural erected in Floyd’s honor has been defaced a second time, reports the Star Tribune. The incident follows an earlier defacing of the mural that occurred in August, but it appears the damage done to the memorial space this time out is significantly worse.
Video of the incident displayed an unidentified man wearing shorts, a black vest, and a black ski mask walking up to the mural and spraypainting it in the wee hours of Sunday morning (Oct. 4). An employee of a local grocery store near the intersection where the mural rests confirmed the footage’s details.
The identity of the person was revealed in August after a former medical student at the University of Minnesota admitted to the fact. The 26-year-old man says he was drunk when he defaced the mural with black paint and later apologized. He was later expelled from the university.