As the clamour for justice for George Floyd’s death continues, the spotlight has been fixed on the proceedings that follow Derek Chavin’s arrest. Chavin is the police officer who restrained Floyd with his knee on Floyd’s neck. This moment was immortalized in an appalling 8 minutes and 46 second video as bystanders beg the officer to lay off Floyd’s neck as he mutters ‘I can’t breathe’. He later died in police custody.
Since no arrests or reprimands were made to the police who were at the scene following George’s death, people took to the streets of Minneapolis to condemn police brutality and injustice. On May 29, in a press briefing, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman stated Chauvin was in custody and is facing third-degree murder and manslaughter charges. In addition to this, charges for other officers involved and further subsequent charges are possible and are expected. However, this came days after Floyd’s death with his family saying ‘welcome but overdue step on the road to justice’.
Under Hennepin County District Judge Jeannice Reding’s conditional release order, Chauvin’s bail was raised to $1.25 million from the initial $1 million without conditions and to $1 million from $750, 000 with conditions. According to the ruling, conditions articulate that Chauvin is prohibited to working in law enforcement and any contact to Floyd’s family. Moreover, he is to surrender any and all licences or permits for firearms if the lower bail amount is chosen. Chauvin and his attorney had no objections to the bail conditions.
George Floyd death further fuelled the #BlackLivesMatter movement with protesters calling for an end to racial profiling, police brutality and equality for all. Other protests have also engaged in key cities all over the world in support for George and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. George will be laid to rest today in Houston, Texas, his hometown, in a private ceremony.