Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd on Memorial Day, posted bail on a $1 million bond Wednesday and was released from the state prison where he was being held pending trial.
In response, Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday afternoon that he was activating the Minnesota National Guard and mobilizing 100 state troopers and 75 conservation officers to help local law enforcement.
“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.
It said the mobilization was requested by the city of Minneapolis to allay public safety concerns regarding Chauvin’s release. The Guard mobilized 100 soldiers and provided equipment and facilities to support public safety.
On Wednesday night, about 300 people marched peacefully from the site where Floyd died north toward downtown Minneapolis to protest Chauvin’s release.
Chauvin was released at 11:22 a.m., the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said.
Chauvin was initially booked into the Ramsey County jail after he was charged in Floyd’s May 25 death and then moved to the state prison at Oak Park Heights for security reasons.
He is charged with one count each of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes as Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
It’s unclear how Chauvin afforded the noncash bail, which was backed by a New Jersey-based bail insurer. Financial information tied to bond and bail postings isn’t public.
A bail fundraising effort on GiveSendGo, a Christian crowdfunding site, reported 37 donations totaling $4,198 as of Wednesday; its goal is $125,000.
“Chauvin has excellent legal representation but it’s extremely difficult to mount a full & vigorous defense when you can only meet with your attorney once a day for only two hours,” said the fundraiser description. “As importantly, Chauvin deserves to be with his family and friends.”
The effort was organized by Chauvin’s family, according to the site. The information could not be independently verified.
It’s unclear where Chauvin is staying. According to Washington County property records, the Oakdale home he shared with his wife, Kellie Chauvin, who has filed for divorce, was sold Aug. 28 for $279,000.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, did not return a message seeking comment.
“His release on bond is a painful reminder to George’s family that we are still far from achieving justice,” tweeted attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family in a federal civil rights lawsuit.
At a June court hearing for Chauvin, a judge set his bail at $1 million with conditions and $1.25 million without conditions.
The conditions include that he remain law abiding, have no contact with Floyd’s family, not work in law enforcement or security, surrender any firearms and licenses to carry, and remain in Minnesota under court supervision.
Three of Chauvin’s former colleagues who assisted with Floyd’s arrest — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — each are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. All three have been released on bond.
Trial is set for March 8.