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Derek Chauvin allowed to establish residency outside of Minnesota while awaiting trial in George Floyd case

Derek Chauvin allowed to establish residency outside of Minnesota while awaiting trial in George Floyd case
© getty: A protester demands justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

A Hennepin County district judge has agreed to let Derek Chauvin — the former Minneapolis police officer who fatally knelt on George Floyd's neck for over eight minutes in May — establish residency outside of the state of Minnesota as he awaits trial.

Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the criminal case connected to Floyd's killing, cited in a filing Thursday afternoon that the Minnesota Department of Corrections provided “evidence supporting safety concerns that have arisen in the pretrial conditional release supervision of [Chauvin]."

On Wednesday, Chauvin was released after posting conditional bond that was set at $1 million. Part of the conditions of the release was that he had to stay within the state, a usual stipulation in murder cases. 

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The former officer is facing multiple felony charges, including second-degree murder and manslaughter.

However, Cahill's order — which was made public Friday — allows Chauvin to "establish residency" in Minnesota or a "contiguous state," meaning Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin. Chauvin's new address, Cahill stated, is to remain "confidential" and only be shared among relevant parties on a "need-to-know basis."

J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao, the other officers at the scene of Floyd's death, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter, though all posted bond well before Chauvin did.

Defense attorneys for all of the officers have requested for the case to be moved out of Hennepin County. Additionally, counsel for Kueng, Lane and Thao have requested that the officers be tried separately, something that the prosecution — made up of lead attorney Matt Frank, state Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith EllisonMinnesota bar vows to stay open despite lawsuit, ban on indoor dining More than 150 Minnesota businesses vow to defy governor's shutdown order Progressives rally around Turner's House bid MORE (D) and former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal (D) — has vehemently opposed.

At a pretrial hearing in September, Cahill held off on deciding if the case would be heard outside of the Hennepin County and if the officers would be tried separately. The trial is expected to begin in March.

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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."

Chauvin was seen in bystander footage during Floyd's arrest with his knee on the man's neck. He 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. 

This year's police killings of Floyd and Breonna Taylor — both Black — sparked national outrage and a summer filled with countrywide protests demanding the end to police brutality and systemic racism.