Police officer charged with George Floyd's murder granted $1m bail

David Millward
·2-min read
Derek Chauvin - AFP
Derek Chauvin - AFP

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, a black man who died while being arrested, has been released after posting $1 million bail.

Videos of Chauvin kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck for eight minutes triggered a wave of anti-racism protests in the US and across the world.

His dying words, "I can't breathe" - which he said at least 20 times - became a chant adopted by demonstrators as the video went viral.   A series of graphic videos taken from different angles of the arrest intensified the anger as protests swept across the US.

Bodycam footage and transcripts of Mr Floyd's final moments showed him pleading with officers not to force him into a police car because he was claustrophobic.

At one point, as Mr Floyd told the police they were killing him, Chauvin shouted: "Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk."

As he was suffocated Mr Floyd called out for his late mother and children. 

Mr Floyd was one of a number of black people to die at the hands of the police this year, fueling the Black Lives Matter movement as anger spread over police brutality.

Chauvin, 44, who is white, faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter. If convicted he faces up to 40 years in prison.

He had been held at the maximum Oak Heights prison in Minnesota since May 31 and was released yesterday (WED) morning after posting a non-cash bond, according to local media.

Chauvin is expected to appear in court to face the charges in March next year.

He was one of four officers charged as a result of the incident in which Mr Floyd died after being pinned down. He has pleaded not guilty.

Thomas Lane, Alex Kueng, and Tou Thao have pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The officers had been called to the scene following allegations that a man had tried to palm off a forged $20 note at a store.

All four officers have been sacked by Minneapolis police.