- Floyd’s aunt, Angela Harrelson, expressed her opposition to Chauvin's release.
- Of the four former police officers charged in Floyd’s murder, Chauvin was the only one who remained in jail awaiting trial.
- It is also still unknown where he got the $1 million to be released.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was fired after being accused of having killed the African-American man, George Floyd, was released on Wednesday after posting a bond of $1 million. The Department of Corrections confirmed that the ex-police officer left the Oak Park Heights maximum-security correctional facility.
Chauvin, 44, pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, leading to his death. Floyd’s death is on record for having sparked the largest wave of racial protests in the United States since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Floyd’s aunt, Angela Harrelson, however, expressed her opposition to Chauvin’s release.
“It’s something that I’m not happy with. I’m not pleased with it. But I know I have to accept it because this is what the judge allowed to happen. … I know our family is not happy with this decision.”
The protests subsequently did spread all over the world, with a cross-section of world leaders and rights organizations condemning the brutal killing in strong terms. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the world leaders who condemned the killing and described it as both “appalling” and “inexcusable.”
He, however, urged protesters in the U.S. and elsewhere to observe the law, even as they expressed their anger over the incident. The UK premier said thus:
“What happened in the U.S. was appalling, it was inexcusable, we all saw it on our screens, and I perfectly understand people’s right to protest what took place, though obviously I also believe that protest should take place in a lawful and reasonable way.”
The killing was also condemned by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who referred to the incident as murder. “This murder of George Floyd is very terrible. Racism is something terrible. Society in the United States is very polarised,” she said in an interview on the national broadcaster, ZDF.
Of the four former police officers charged in Floyd’s murder, Chauvin was the only one who remained in jail awaiting trial, set for March 2021. He faces charges of murder. The other three agents involved are accused of complicity. A Hennepin County judge in Minnesota is still evaluating whether the four will be tried together.
Chauvin’s record throughout the 19 years he worked for the Minneapolis Police Department is littered with incidents:
- In 2006, he shot and killed a man who allegedly had a gun.
- In 2008, he did the same against a suspect of sexist violence.
- In 2011, he opened fire on a man fleeing a shooting.
None of the above incidents prevented him from continuing with his job until his killing of George Floyd.
The bail conditions prohibit Chauvin from leaving Minnesota. His former home in the Twin Cities suburbs was recently sold, so it is unclear where he will go and his family declined to comment. It is also still unknown where he got the $1 million to be released.
Chauvin and his ex-wife Kellie– who announced their divorce after Floyd’s death– are charged with tax evasion. Washington County prosecutors have claimed that the former officer failed to report or pay 2014 state taxes, and did not report the more than $95,000 he earned working as a security guard in his off-hours.