At his first court appearance in court on Monday, the former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin who spearheaded the murder of George Floyd, was granted an unconditional bail of $1.25 million (£1 million).
Initially, Derek’s bail was $1 million, but it was upped due to the “severity of the charges” and public outrage. But the accused was, upon the urging of the prosecuting counsel, also given an option of $1 million with conditions by Judge Jeannice Reding.
The conditions includes Mr. Derek not contacting George Floyd’s family, being law-abiding, surrendering his firearms and any firearm permit, not working in law enforcement or security capacity, not leaving Minnesota as he awaits trial. The hearing coincided with a final public memorial in Houston for George Floyd, who will be buried next to his mother in a cemetery in Pearland, Texas today.
Floyd’s death has sparked a nationwide debate over police department funding. President Trump defended police officers amid calls to “defund the police,” saying most were “doing an incredible job.” Former vice president Joe Biden on Monday said he opposes calls from activists to defund the police but added that federal aid should be conditional.
The defense counsel did not object to the bail terms, and June 29 was set for the accused’s next court hearing. Mr. Derek participated in the hearing at the public safety facility in downtown Minneapolis on a video feed from jail, where he has been held for almost two weeks since he was arrested.
He appeared at the virtual session handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit and a blue mask as he sat on a small table, with “Yes, your honour” his only words the few times procedural questions were directed to him. Charged with unintentional second-degree murder and manslaughter and third-degree murder, what is before his counsel is to prove that Mr Derek’s action as seen in the video was not what killed George Floyd directly.
For each of those charges, if convicted, the maximum penalties are prison terms of 40, 25 and 10 years respectively. Although further charges could be brought but it appears unlikely he will be accused of first-degree murder as prosecutors would have to prove premeditation, intent and motive.
It is believed that by bringing multiple charges against the 44-year-old former police officer, who had been in the Force for 19 years, prosecutors widen the chances of a conviction.
George Floyd is one of many names joined in the litany of blacks who have been extrajudicially killed by policemen in the country, the demand for justice and end to police brutality have gained traction across the world.
In paying the last respect, the Democrat lawmakers knelt down for nearly nine minutes in a moment of silence in honour of George Floyd at the Capitol in Washington. Later, they introduced a sweeping legislation on police reform.
Can the judgement be equated to justice for George Floyd?