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Judge sets Derek Chauvin's bail at $1.25 million in George Floyd's death

Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who p...

Posted: Jun 8, 2020 4:10 AM
Updated: Jun 8, 2020 5:15 PM

Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on George Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as the man begged for his life, had his bail set at $1.25 million during a Monday hearing.

Like his fellow officers who were arrested, Chauvin was offered a reduced bail of $1 million if he agrees to certain conditions, including that he not work in security or law enforcement, not have contact with Floyd's family, not leave Minnesota and surrender all firearms and permits.

If he posts bail, his release would be supervised, Judge Jeannice Reding said.

Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, blue mask and handcuffs, Chauvin appeared via video link. He is being held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights in Stillwater, outside Minneapolis.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson did not object to the bail amount and said he'd reserve any bail issues for future hearings. Following the proceeding, he left promptly and was not available for comment.

The high bail amount was the product of the high-profile nature of the alleged crimes and the ensuing unrest, prosecutor Matthew Frank said.

'The defendant placed his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for approximately nine minutes,' Frank said. 'The death of Mr. Floyd has had a strong reaction in the community, to put it mildly.'

Three more officers jailed, charged

Chauvin was arrested last month and initially charged with third-degree murder and other crimes. Last week, prosecutors added a second-degree murder charge.

The other three officers involved in Floyd's death -- Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao -- were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

They are each being held on $1 million bail and are scheduled to be in court June 29, according to inmate records. Their bails can be lowered to $750,000 with conditions.

Chauvin's next scheduled court date is June 29 as well.

Floyd's death sparked two weeks of global protests that saw some of the largest crowds yet over the weekend. While the earlier days of unrest included buildings on fire and looting, protests have since remained mostly peaceful. As thousands marched daily in cities including Minneapolis, Atlanta and Los Angeles, mayors introduced nightly curfews to keep protesters off the streets -- most of which have now been lifted.

The third and final memorial service for Floyd is being held Monday in Houston, where he grew up and lived before moving to Minneapolis. Thousands are expected to attend Monday's visitation. The hearse carrying his body arrived at The Fountain of Praise Church around 9 a.m. (10 a.m. ET).

Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother, told a crowd of reporters and supporters outside he was thankful for the families of other African-Americans killed at the hands of police attending the service.

'Right now, I appreciate everybody coming out,' he said. 'It just hurts a lot, just being here, just talking, just pain. I thank y'all so much.'

Gwen Carr, whose son Eric Garner died six years ago while in the chokehold of a New York police officer, told the Floyd family to keep going even after the protests and media coverage dissipate.

'Don't stop fighting,' she said, ' because that's what they look for you to do. ... Stand strong after the cameras are gone.'

She said police need to get rid of the 'bad apples' in their departments.

The six-hour viewing will be followed by a funeral service and burial Tuesday in Pearland, a Houston suburb, CNN affiliate KTVT reported. Floyd will be laid to rest next to his mother, the news station reported.

A vigil is scheduled for Monday at 8:30 p.m. at Jack Yates High School's football field in Houston.

Changes haven't brought better policing, council member say

Saying prior police reform hasn't worked, two key members of the Minneapolis City Council told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that drastic change needs to happen to the city's department.

'It is clear that we need to make major shifts both in the short term and ... that our community is ready to reimagine public safety from the ground up to think holistically and to make sure every single member of our community is safe,' City Council President Lisa Bender said.

Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins said they want to work with residents and police officers to come up with a new plan.

'Reforms haven't worked so we have to reimagine what public safety looks like,' she said.

Nine Minneapolis City Council members made a commitment last week to start the process of defunding and 'dismantling' the police department, Bender said Sunday.

Mayor Jacob Frey supports major reforms in the police department, but there are limits, he told 'Good Morning America.' He looks forward to working with Council members to determine 'what they mean when they say ending and abolishing.'

The defunding debate has become a national issue. President Donald Trump says it would be insane to dismantle police departments.

'LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE,' he tweeted. 'The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!'

A spokesman for presumptive Democratic president Joe Biden said the former vice president wants reforms 'including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing -- so that officers can focus on the job of policing.'

Medical groups denounce racism, police brutality

Several medical groups, including the American Medical Association, have released statements emphasizing that racism is a public health issue and calling for an end to police brutality.

On Sunday, the AMA's board of trustees put out a statement denouncing 'police brutality and all forms of racially motivated violence,' saying they opposed all forms of racism and committed to 'actively work to dismantle racist and discriminatory policies and practices across all of healthcare.'

'The AMA recognizes that racism in its systemic, structural, institutional, and interpersonal forms is an urgent threat to public health, the advancement of health equity, and a barrier to excellence in the delivery of medical care,' the board said.

An earlier statement from the AMA came from its board Chair, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, and President, Dr. Patrice Harris.

'AMA policy recognizes that physical or verbal violence between law enforcement officers and the public, particularly among Black and Brown communities where these incidents are more prevalent and pervasive, is a critical determinant of health and supports research into the public health consequences of these violent interactions,' Ehrenfeld and Harris said in the statement.

In a press release announcing the new statement from the board, the AMA said it 'recognizes that worsening inequities, unequal access to care, and the disproportionately small number of Black physicians all have roots in past actions of the AMA.'

In 2008, the group apologized for 'more than a century of policies that excluded black physicians,' according to the press release.

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