White cop who 'killed' George Floyd has his bail increased to $1.25M

White Minneapolis cop who ‘killed’ George Floyd has his bail increased to $1.25M, as the fired officer makes his first court appearance

  • Derek Chauvin’s bail was increased to $1.25 million as the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd made his first court appearance Monday 
  • His attorney raised no objections and agreed to make arrangements to have the firearm Chauvin admitted to having at his home removed should he post bail
  • Chauvin spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth and when asked if he had any firearms still in his possession  
  • The former Minneapolis police officer was first arrested on  May 29 on third-degree murder charges – four days after Floyd’s death on Memorial Day 
  • But after national outcry, his charges were upgraded last Wednesday
  • Meanwhile in Houston, mourners gathered for the public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston  
  • Other officers involved in the deadly arrest J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, 34, appeared in Hennepin County District Court on June 4
  • They are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder,  while committing a felony and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter

Derek Chauvin’s bail has been increased to $1.25 million as the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd made his first appearance in court today.

In setting bail, Judge Denise Reilly acknowledged Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank’s assertion that the case had prompted, ‘a strong reaction in the community to put it mildly.’

Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson raised no objections and agreed to make arrangements to have the firearm Chauvin admitted to having at his home removed should he post bail.

His appearance came exactly two weeks after video of Floyd’s death ignited outrage that erupted into violence and protest as the world bore witness to the 46-year-old’s agonizing final moments; 8 minutes and 46 seconds, dying under the knee of the fired Minneapolis cop.

It had been due to take place last week, but was pushed back due to security concerns.

Those same concerns led Chauvin, 44, to not appear in person but via video link from the maximum security Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights where Chauvin has been held under suicide watch since being moved from Hennepin County Jail on June 1.

Chauvin spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth and when asked if he had any firearms still in his possession.


Derek Chauvin’s bail has been increased to $1.25 million as the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd made his first appearance in court today. Chauvin spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth and when asked if he had any firearms still in his possession

Those same concerns saw Chauvin, 44, appear not in person but via video link from the maximum security Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights where Chauvin has been held under suicide watch since being moved from Hennepin County Jail on June 1 

Chauvin’s appearance came exactly two weeks after video of Floyd’s death ignited outrage that erupted into violence and protest as the world bore witness to the 46-year-old’s agonizing final moments; 8 minutes and 46 seconds, dying under the knee of the disgraced officer  

Protesters gather outside the Public Safety Facility building on Monday in Minneapolis before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be charged in the death of George Floyd

Meanwhile in Houston, ushers guided mourners for the public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston 

Chauvin’s next court appearance is set for June 29.  His previous bail was set at $500,000. 

Chauvin’s charges were upgraded to include second degree murder last Wednesday, the same day the officers who did nothing as he pressed the life out of Floyd were arrested.

In the 15 days since Floyd’s death and his arrest, Chauvin has been swiftly off-loaded by his wife of ten years, former Minneapolis pageant queen Kellie, 45, who filed for divorce the day before charges were brought.

Meanwhile two of the three officers who looked on as Floyd died moved with similar alacrity, to place all blame firmly on the 20-year-old veteran at their own first appearances last Thursday.

J Alexander Kueng, 26, of Plymouth; Thomas Lane, 37, of St Paul; and Tou Thao, 34, of Coon Rapids, appeared in Hennepin County District Court on June 4.

They are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder – unintentional – while committing a felony and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.

Bail for all three was set at $1 million. Thao’s attorney made little objection.

But attorneys for Kueng and Lane kicked back at this and the charges levelled against their clients arguing that both were rookies – Kueng was on his third shift and Lane was just four days on the force – who had no sway over Chauvin, a far more senior officer and a veteran of 20 years.

‘What was he supposed to do? Tell Chauvin to get off?’, Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray demanded.

Gray described Lane as ‘a good guy.’ He reminded the judge that his client had asked repeatedly, ‘Shall we roll him?’ and that his client alone had got into the ambulance and attempted to resuscitate Floyd with CPR.

Chauvin spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth and when asked if he had any firearms still in his possession 


J Alexander Kueng, 26, (right) of Plymouth; Thomas Lane, 37, (left) of St Paul; and Tou Thao, 34, of Coon Rapids, appeared in Hennepin County District Court on June 4. Bail for all three was set at $1 million. Thao’s attorney made little objection. But attorneys for Kueng and Lane kicked back at this and the charges levelled against their clients arguing that both were rookies – Kueng was on his third shift and Lane was just four days on the force – who had no sway over Chauvin, a far more senior officer and a veteran of 20 years

Thao (pictured) was also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder – unintentional – while committing a felony and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk

In the 15 days since Floyd’s death and his arrest, Chauvin has been swiftly off-loaded by his wife of ten years, former Minneapolis pageant queen Kellie, 45, who filed for divorce the day before charges were brought. She was voted Mrs. Minnesota in 2018

For his part Kueng’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett painted his client as a ‘young African American male who grew up with an absentee father and a single mother’ and had turned to law enforcement to make his community ‘a better place.’

As it was, he insisted, he was no flight risk and had never lived more than 10 miles from where he was born in South Minneapolis where his family ties are significant. 

According to Plunkett, the graduate of Henry Patrick High School shared in the childcare since his mother adopted four at-risk children from the community.

Unlike Chauvin, the disgraced former cops had been escorted through an underground tunnel between Hennepin County Jail and Hennepin County District Court.

Just a couple of blocks away, mourners gathered at North Central University for a memorial service held by family and friends and led by Civil Rights leader Rev Al Sharpton. 

It was the first of three. A second was held Sunday in Raeford, North Carolina, the town where Floyd was born. He will be buried in Houston on Tuesday in a plot next to his mother.

In setting the bail, the judge said he had ‘struggled to find any comparisons’ for the cases but appeared convinced by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank’s assertion that the terrible nature of the crime and the high profile rendered each defendant a high flight risk.

If convicted as charged, the men face up to 40 years in prison on the first count, with the second carrying a sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $20,000.

The actions of all four officers are now all too well-rehearsed and set down in a detailed Statement of Probable Cause pieced together from surveillance footage, interviews with witnesses and their own body cameras.

One officer can be seen leaning into the car while another looks on

Floyd can’t be seen in the footage, but one cop can be seen leaning through the back door and visibly struggling with him

The brief clips provide a different angle than the widely publicized video that was filmed on Memorial Day, with three officers seen on George Floyd’s back

Officers Lane and Kueng were the first to arrive at the scene at 8.08pm, May 25 when someone made a 911 call reporting a man for buying merchandise from Cup Foods with a counterfeit $20.

Floyd was parked in a car just around the corner when the officers arrived. There were three people in the car, with Floyd in the driver’s seat. As Lane began speaking with Floyd through his open window, he pulled his gun and asked Floyd to show him his hands.

Floyd placed his hands on the steering wheel and Lane reholstered his gun.

The footage goes on to show Floyd complying with all the officers’ requests – getting out of the car, sitting on the ground, being handcuffed.

The probable cause statement notes that as he sat on the ground, ‘Floyd said, ‘Thank you man,’ and was calm.’

It was only when Lane stood Floyd up and tried to get him into the squad car that the man ‘stiffened’ and fell to the ground.

The statement said: ‘Mr Floyd told the officers that he was not resisting but did not want to get in the back seat and was claustrophobic.’

Mourners have started arriving to view George Floyd ‘s open casket in his hometown of Houston, Texas on Monday in the final stop of a series of memorials in his honor

The viewing is open to the public but visitors are required to wear a mask and gloves to comply with coronavirus -related guidelines, as well as have their temperature checked prior to entering the church

George Floyd’s golden casket arrived at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas on Monday ahead of a six-hour viewing

Protesters gather outside the Public Safety Facility building on June 8, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be charged in the death of George Floyd

Chauvin and Thao arrived in separate squad cars at this point and all four officers began trying to push Floyd into the car as he, ‘repeatedly said that he could not breathe.’

At 8.19pm Chauvin pulled Floyd from the car and he went to the ground face down. Keung had his back, Lane held his legs, Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck in an act that has reverberated around the world.

Floyd said, ‘I’m about to die,’ he repeatedly called for his ‘mama’ and said he could not breathe but they held their positions as Chauvin pressed the life out of the 46-year-old.

After five minutes Floyd stopped moving, after six he fell silent and stopped breathing. Lane said he ‘wanted to roll him on his side.’ Kueng check his wrist and found no pulse.

Still they held their positions. Two minutes later at 8.27pm Chauvin finally relinquished his pressure. By then he was holding down a dead man.

Kueng, Thao and Lane will next appear at a June 29 hearing.

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