The murder of George Floyd

Chauvin released after posting $1 million bond; Walz activates National Guard

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin
A law enforcement officer goes down while opening a gate for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin as fellow officers escorted Chauvin from the rear of the the Hennepin County Family Justice Center after a hearing for the four former police officers charged in the death of George Floyd on Sept. 11 in Minneapolis.
David Joles | Star Tribune via AP file

Updated: 4:47 p.m.

Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard Wednesday after Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the killing of George Floyd, was released Wednesday from custody after posting $1 million bond.

The action, which followed a request from the city of Minneapolis, mobilizes 100 soldiers and provides equipment and facilities in support of protecting the public

“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Minnesotans, we have asked the Minnesota National Guard to prepare to assist in keeping the peace," Walz said in a statement.

In addition, the Minnesota State Patrol has mobilized 100 state troopers, while the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has mobilized 75 conservation officers to help local law enforcement, according to the statement.

Chauvin is facing five felony counts including second-degree murder. His trial, along with that of three fellow former officers, is expected to start in March.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections confirmed that Chauvin was released from Oak Park Heights sometime Wednesday morning. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office roster shows he was released from that agency’s custody at 11:22 a.m.

A court order in June set the $1 million bond with the conditions that Chauvin obey laws, attend court appearances, not have any contact with the victim’s family, not work in law enforcement and surrender all firearms and permits.

The documents posted Wednesday don’t show where the money for the bond came from, but an online fundraiser purported to be organized by Chauvin’s family fizzled out at just around $4,000.

Officers in Minnesota who are charged criminally are provided with legal defense through membership in the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. But the organization's executive director said they do not provide assistance for bond.

Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson declined to comment.

Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s killing. Body camera and bystander footage show Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes. Former officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane face charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter and have been out of custody for several months.

Chauvin also faces tax evasion charges, which are not related to Floyd's death. Washington County prosecutors say Chauvin and his wife underreported nearly a half-million dollars in income between 2014 and 2019.

Floyd’s killing led to protests across the country, as well as civil unrest in the Twin Cities including looting and arsons that damaged hundreds of buildings.

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