A judge has set new conditions for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after he posted bond and was released from prison earlier this week, including where he's allowed to live before his March 8, 2021, trial.
Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's May 25 death, posted a $1 million bond and was released from prison Wednesday morning.
Judge Peter Cahill, who is overseeing the trial of Chauvin and the three other officers charged in connection to Floyd's death. On Thursday, he signed an order amending the conditions of Chauvin's release, citing safety concerns.
The conditions include:
- Chauvin is ordered to establish residency somewhere in Minnesota or a contiguous state "as soon as possible" and report that address to the Minnesota Department of Corrections' (DOC) conditional release officer (CRO). The address will be shared with appropriate people, including the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, local police where he's living, defense counsel and prosecutors. His address will be kept confidential otherwise – only shared on a need-to-know basis – and the official court record will state he has no permanent address.
- Chauvin has to get a cell phone that is operational and with him "at all times," and he must have cellular service "at all times" so his CRO and other officials can contact him "at any time." And he's ordered to answer all calls from the DOC.
- Chauvin has to surrender his passport to his CRO.
- Bail conditions previously outlined by the court are still in effect, including that he must stay law-abiding, cannot possess or transport a firearm or ammunition and he can't have contact with Floyd's family.
Chauvin's release from the Minnesota DOC facility in Oak Park Heights, where he's been since he was arrested and charged in Floyd's death in late May, prompted Gov. Tim Walz to activate the Minnesota National Guard over concerns of civil unrest.
Protesters, many of whom said Chauvin's release is another example of inequalities in the country's justice system, took to the streets in Minneapolis and St. Paul on Wednesday and Thursday. The largely peaceful protests resulted in at least 51 people being arrested Wednesday night.
His release also raised more questions about the state's bail system. Chauvin's $1 million conditional bond was secured through A-Affordable Bail Bonds, the Star Tribune says. Under state law, bond companies don't have to disclose who secured the bond or how much they paid in advance.
This lack of transparency raised concerns earlier this summer, with people criticizing the nonprofit Minnesota Freedom Fund after it received more than $30 million in donations following Floyd's death, with many donating to help bail out protesters. However, the Minnesota Freedom Fund doesn't just use its funds to bail out protesters – it pays cash bails and immigration bonds for people arrested for various things who can't afford to bail themselves out, including some accused of violent crimes.
This concerned state Rep. Paul Novotny, R-Elk River, who planned to introduce legislation during a special session in August that would increase transparency in the state's bail system. His proposal would change state law to make public the names of third parties who post bail for someone.
Novotny's proposed bill would also reveal who secured Chauvin's bond. He told the Star Tribune people should know who is posting bail, whether it is for protesters or Chauvin, and if he's reelected, he plans to introduce his proposal in 2021.
Chauvin was the last of the four officers charged in connection to Floyd's death to post bail and be released from custody. The others – J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, each charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter – posted bail and were released over the summer.
The trial for all four former officers is currently scheduled to begin March 8.