- The other two officers with similar charges were released last month after they posted bail.
- Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned Floyd using his knee, remains in custody.
- All four officers involved in the arrest were fired and have appeared in court.
The third former Minneapolis police officer charged with the death of George Floyd has been released on bail. Tou Thao was released with conditions from the Hennepin County jail after posting bail of $750,000. He faces charges on aiding and abetting second degree murder and manslaughter.
The other two officers with similar charges, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, were released last month after they posted bail. The two were released on conditions that they won’t be allowed to participate in any law enforcement activities, would be monitored, and not be allowed to carry any firearm.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned Floyd using his knee, remains in custody. He is being held at Minnesota’s maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights on a $1 million bail. Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. All four officers involved in the arrest were fired and have appeared in court.
Floyd, an African American man died on May 25 after a white police officer, Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. Floyd was buried last month in Houston, amid calls for racial justice from speakers.
In a horrifying video, Chauvin pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest. The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media. It showed Floyd helpless, asking the police not to kill him. Floyd said several times, “I can’t breathe!”
The officer is then heard telling him to relax he continues to pin him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” Floyd cries out. “[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. . . I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In the footage witnesses are heard pleading with the police to let go the man but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
The death of Floyd has sparked outrage from all quarters, and ignited anger over police killings of black Americans. Widespread anti-racism protests were witnessed in all US states and around the world. The protests were violent in the beginning, but later on turned peaceful.
A number of police officers have used a lot of force during the widespread protests against the murder of Floyd. Some of these officers have been fired, while others have been charged. The demonstrators were calling for justice for Floyd, as well as police reforms where they advocated for disbandment and dismantling of the police force.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has pledged to reform his police departmenta month after the death of Floyd. The police chief and Mayor Jacob Frey said that they have begun pushing for policy changes and new rules, particularly regarding police investigations.
One such rule is aimed at preventing officers involved in the use of force from reviewing body camera footage before the initial police report is completed. “The policies also restrict consultation with certain representatives immediately following a critical incident and clarify time requirements for reporting.” the police chief said.
Mayor Frey, who is opposed to the call to abolish the police, said the policy will ensure transparency.
The Minneapolis City Council has begun the process of replacing the police force. The proposed charter aims at replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.
The Minneapolis City Council has rallied for the dismantling of the police department since anti-racism protests broke out in the country following the death of George Floyd.
Last month, the US House of Representatives passed far-reaching legislation on police reforms, a month after Floyd’s death.
The legislation is aimed at lifting legal obstacles that protect police officers from lawsuits, banning no-knock raids used by police, and halting the flow of military surplus equipment to police departments. It is named after Floyd.