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Ex-Minneapolis police officer involved in George Floyd's death released on bond

Ex-Minneapolis police officer involved in George Floyd's death released on bond
© Getty Images

Derek Chauvin — the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck for over eight minutes in May, resulting in his death — has been released from custody after posting bond.

Chauvin's bond was set at $1 million, as he's facing multiple charges in connection to Floyd's death, including second-degree murder. 

If convicted on the second-degree murder charge, Chauvin faces up to 15 years in prison.

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The other former officers involved, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, were each charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

In August, Chauvin's attorney asked a Minneapolis judge to throw out the charges against the former officer, citing what they called a lack of evidence and blaming Floyd's death on substances a medical examiner said were in his system when he died.

Floyd's death was ruled a homicide, and a Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office autopsy report revealed he died from "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

"Put simply, Mr. Floyd could not breathe because he had ingested a lethal dose of fentanyl and, possibly, a speedball," Chauvin's attorney said in the court documents obtained by USA Today.

"Combined with sickle cell trait, his pre-existing heart conditions, Mr. Floyd’s use of fentanyl and methamphetamine most likely killed him."

Floyd's death sparked national outrage and was the catalyst for a summer full of heightened racial tensions and nationwide protests decrying police brutality and systemic racism.

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Chauvin was seen in bystander footage during Floyd's arrest with his knee on the man's neck. Chauvin applied pressure to his neck for several minutes while Floyd made repeated appeals to the officer, telling him that he could not breathe. Floyd then became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead after he was taken to the hospital. 

Floyd's family has said they wish to see first-degree murder charges filed against Chauvin.

“For Chauvin to leave his knee on George’s neck despite warnings and evidence that his life was in danger — and to continue that course for many minutes — demands a first-degree murder charge," family attorney Benjamin Crump said in June. "For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse."

Earlier in June, ABC News reported Chauvin's attorneys had considered a guilty plea but scrapped those plans after a deal with prosecutors fell through.

Chauvin's case, and that of the other officers involved in Floyd's case, are not expected to begin until March of 2021.

Updated 2:36 p.m.