The fired Minneapolis cop charged with murdering George Floyd can leave Minnesota and await trial in a neighboring state due to “safety concerns,” a judge said Friday.
Derek Chauvin, 44, is facing charges of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder after he knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes before the unarmed Black man died in police custody May 25.
He was arrested May 31 and remained in custody for months until his release Wednesday on a $1 million bond.
His original release conditions barred him from leaving Minnesota, but the agency ordered to keep an eye on him asked the court to reconsider.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections provided “evidence supporting safety concerns that have arisen in the pretrial conditional release supervision of defendant,” the judge’s order signed Friday said.
“Based on that information,” prosecutors and the defense agreed to the release modification without a hearing, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter A. Cahill ruled.
The judge ordered Chauvin to establish residency either in Minnesota “or a contiguous state as soon as possible and immediately report” the new “confidential” address to his corrections officer.
“Defendant shall obtain a mobile phone which is to be operational and on his person at all times,” the judge ruled.
Chauvin also was ordered to surrender his passport and sign four copies of a waiver of extradition and provide the signed originals to the Minnesota attorney general.
The fired Minneapolis police officer has a trial date set for March 8.
Chauvin’s former colleagues who assisted with Floyd’s fatal arrest — J. Alexander Kueng, 26, Thomas Lane, 37, and Tou Thao, 34 — have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Harrowing video of Floyd’s last minutes of life show him handcuffed, face-down on the pavement with his neck under Chauvin’s knee.
Floyd cries “I can’t breathe,” “I’m about to die,” “Please,” and “Mama" as Chauvin refuses to roll him over, prosecutors said in an amended complaint.
The shocking footage fueled massive, coast-to-coast protests and led Minnesota’s top prosecutor to swiftly seek charges.
“We’re here today because George Floyd is not here,” Attorney General Keith Ellison said at a news conference announcing the criminal filings against all four officers in early June.
“We will seek justice for (Floyd) and for you, and we will find it,” Ellison vowed.
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