Oak Park Heights, MN – Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was released on Wednesday from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights when he has been held pending trial for the murder of George Floyd.
WCCO reported that Chauvin was transferred to the Hennepin County Jail at about 9:40 a.m. on Oct. 7 so that he could post $1 million bail.
State records showed that the former police officer posted a non-cash bond secured by Allegheny Casualty.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death during his arrest. His charges have since been upgraded to second-degree murder.
On June 3, former Minneapolis Police Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder for their role in Floyd’s arrest.
The officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli.
Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.
The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.
Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.
The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.
Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.
Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later at the hospital.
After three days of violent riots and looting that left Minneapolis and its sister city, St. Paul, in flames, the state investigative agency announced it was making an arrest.
Six pieces of new evidence were filed in the case in September after attorneys for former Officer Thao requested the release of full autopsy reports from the medical examiner.
Former Officer Thao’s attorneys requested the judge order the Hennepin County medical examiner to release the full autopsy reports on Monday, KMSP reported.
The attorneys wanted access to the complete reports from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Armed Forces medical examiner, and the private examination conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden at the behest of the family.
The report from the Armed Forces medical examiner revealed that doctor agreed with the Hennepin County medical examiner’s final pronouncement that Floyd’s death was a homicide, KMSP reported.
“His death was caused by the police subdual and restraint in the setting of severe hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and methamphetamine and fentanyl intoxication,” the Armed Forces medical examiner said in a memo.
However, two other memos that were entered into evidence on Aug. 25 painted a very different picture of Floyd’s cause of death, according to KMSP.
A May 26 memo written by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker had told them he didn’t think Floyd had died of asphyxiation.
“The autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation,” Baker told prosecutors, according to the memo.
But at the point, he hadn’t gotten the toxicology results back.
A second memo entered into the prosecutor’s file against Chauvin showed that the medical examiner said he thought it was likely that Floyd had died from an overdose, KMSP reported.
Baker told prosecutors on June 1 that Floyd had a “pretty high” and potentially “fatal level” of fentanyl in his system when he died.
“[Dr. Andrew Baker] said that if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else) and there were no other contributing factors he would conclude that it was an overdose death,” the prosecutor’s memo about the conversation with the medical examiner read.
Former Officer Thao’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the two aiding-and-abetting charges citing a lack of probable cause.
An attorney for one of the other officers charged in Floyd’s death filed a motion to dismiss the charges against his client, too, on Aug. 18 claiming that Floyd had actually overdosed on fentanyl while resisting arrest.
Earl Gray, the attorney for former Officer Lane, said in the motion that Floyd swallowed fentanyl tablets while the officers were trying to take him into custody, KMSP reported.
Gray said that the bodycam video of Floyd’s arrest showed a white spot on his tongue that disappeared a moment later.
In the motion to dismiss, former Officer Lane’s attorney argued it looked like Floyd was swallowing “2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose” in order to avoid being caught holding the drugs, KMSP reported.
“All he had to do is sit in the police car, like every other defendant who is initially arrested. While attempting to avoid his arrest, all by himself, Mr. Floyd overdosed on Fentanyl,” Gray wrote in the court filing. “Given his intoxication level, breathing would have been difficult at best. Mr. Floyd’s intentional failure to obey commands, coupled with his overdosing, contributed to his own death.”
He argued there was no evidence to establish probable cause that his client had contributed to Floyd’s death, KMSP reported.