Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in George Floyd's killing, has been released from a Minnesota prison. Chauvin has been held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights for months, and is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. CBS News affiliate WCCO is now reporting that he has met the terms of conditional bail, which is $1 million. His non-conditional bail was set at $1.25 million.
On May 25, Chauvin and three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — were placing Floyd under arrest as bystanders filmed. Floyd could be seen lying on the ground, with Chauvin kneeling on his neck while Floyd pleaded that he couldn't breathe. He eventually lost consciousness, and was later transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Following Floyd's death, an initial report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner stated that "no physical findings" were discovered to support "a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation" as Floyd's cause of death.
BREAKING: Derek Chauvin, former officer charged in George Floyd's death, released from jail on bail https://t.co/ip5mlhsTju— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 7, 2020
Floyd's family had a private autopsy completed by pathologists Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, who challenged the results of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's preliminary autopsy report. The pair stated that their findings determined that Floyd's death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia." Baden and Wilson stated that they believed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, as well as two other officers applying restraint to his body, caused a lack of blood flow to the brain and that any "other health issue...could contribute to the death."
Directly addressing the notion that Floyd could breathe because he was speaking, Dr. Baden added, "Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true." The Hennepin County Medical Examiner later released its final report and cited Floyd's death as a homicide. All four officers have been charged in connection to Floyd's death. Kueng, Thao, and Lane are all charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin’s attorney has argued that Floyd was positive for coronavirus at the time of his death, and that he likely died as a result of fentanyl and methamphetamine that had been found to be in his system. If convicted of the unintentional second-degree murder, Chauvin faces over 12 years in prison. In addition to his charges in Floyd's death, prosecutors have also charged Chauvin — as well as his his estranged wife — with multiple counts of tax evasion for allegedly lying about their income.