Judge Sets $1 Million Bail For Derek Chauvin Over George Floyd’s Death

Kerem Yucel , AFP via Getty Images

A facility worker brings a TV inside the Public Safety Building in Minneapolis, part of preparations for the first court hearing for former police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday.

Judge Jeannice M. Reding set bail for Derek Chauvin at $1 million with conditions during a court hearing Monday, making him eligible for supervised release.

Chauvin, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, a black man. He attended the Hennepin County District Court hearing in Minneapolis via video link.

The former police officer could also be released without conditions at a higher bail amount of $1.25 million.

The conditions for Chauvin’s release at the lower amount call for him to abide by all laws, have no contact with Floyd’s family, and surrender any guns and firearms licenses. He would also be required not to leave the state.

In a handwritten note on the order, the judge added a stipulation for Chauvin: “Do not work in law enforcement or security.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled to take place on June 29.

Chauvin, 44, faces a charge of second-degree murder in Floyd’s death, along with two lesser counts: third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The charge of second-degree murder was added last week, days after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to lead the prosecution.

In a new court filing in the case, Chauvin’s attorneys filed a request for disclosure on Monday, seeking a list of witnesses and evidence that prosecutors plan to include in their case against the former officer. In that filing, the defense team also said it “demands the presence at trial of anyone who drew or took blood or urine samples” from Chauvin.

Eyewitness video from the police encounter with Floyd on Memorial Day shows that Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, including at least two minutes in which Floyd was unresponsive. Floyd had come to the attention of police because he was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill in a nearby store.

Three other former Minneapolis police officers — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane – who were present are facing charges of aiding and abetting murder. All four officers were fired the day after Floyd died. Chauvin was arrested several days later.

The top charge against Chauvin is categorized as “Second Degree Murder – Unintentional – While Committing A Felony.” It carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison; the third-degree charge has a 25-year maximum sentence.

Floyd’s killing has ignited massive protests in Minneapolis and around the U.S., as communities rally to push for criminal justice reform and to condemn racism and police abuses against black people.

On Sunday, sustained outrage over Floyd’s death in police custody prompted nine members of the Minneapolis City Council – a majority of its 13 members — to say they support “dismantling” the Minneapolis Police Department.

Because of intense public interest in Chauvin’s case and social distancing protocols that will reduce seating, members of the public can view the proceeding in two “overflow courtrooms,” according to the district court. Media representation at the hearing was limited to just five total spots for local and national news outlets, such as Minnesota Public Radio and NBC News.

As Chauvin appeared in court, Floyd was being remembered at an hours-long memorial service in his hometown of Houston, Texas, Monday. It’s the final public memorial for Floyd, who will be buried in the Houston area on Tuesday, following a private service.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.