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Bail set at $1 million for US police officer Derek Chauvin charged with George Floyd’s murder

Floyd died in Minneapolis after Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and ‘please, I can’t breathe’

SNS | New Delhi |

A Minneapolis judge set a $1 million bail for police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday as he made his first court appearance charged with the murder of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American man whose death sparked nationwide protests.

Chauvin appeared by video from Minnesota state prison to face charges of one count of second degree murder, one count of third degree murder, and one count of manslaughter.

Hennepin County District Court Jeannice Reding set his bail at $1 million with conditions, and $1.25 million without conditions. The conditions set would mean that he need to surrender his firearms, not work in law enforcement or security in any capacity, agree not to leave the state and have no contact with the family of Floyd.

The next date of hearing in the case is June 29.

The shocking videotaped death on May 25 of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis ignited the nationwide wave of outrage over law enforcement’s repeated use of lethal force against unarmed African Americans.

Floyd died in Minneapolis after Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, and “please, I can’t breathe”.

44-year-old police officer dressed in an orange prison suit, answered questions matter-of-factly in the procedural hearing, which did not require him to submit a plea.

State prosecutor Matthew Frank had asked for a high bail from the court, calling Chauvin a flight risk  due to severity of the charges and the strong public protests against Floyd’s killing.

Three other Minneapolis officers involved in the incident have been fired. They were with Chauvin when Floyd was arrested have been charged with aiding and abetting the murder and are still being held in a local jail.

Protests turned violent across the United States with agitated people throwing bricks and bottles and shouting curses at President Donald Trump.

Amid the chaos and continuing protests, curfew was declared in as many as 40 cities and Washington DC across the United States on Sunday.

As the Trump administration branded instigators of five nights of rioting as domestic terrorists, there were more confrontations between protesters and police and fresh outbreaks of looting.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has said that Floyd’s memory must not be “drowned out by an angry mob” and added that he has “strongly recommended” to every Governor to deploy the national guard in sufficient numbers to dominate the streets until the violence has been quelled.

Calling the violence in Washington D.C. last week “a total disgrace”, Trump had said he was “dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement offices to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism assaults and the wanton destruction of property”.