George Floyd's friend went to street where he died and 'broke down' after Derek Chauvin released from prison
A friend of George Floyd reportedly "broke down and cried" after learning that the officer charged with Floyd's murder had been released from prison. Derek Chauvin sparked protests in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota after he posted a $1 million bail and was released Wednesday, Newsweek reported. "I broke down and cried. I went over there on 38th and George Floyd and just sat there," Cortez Rice said during a rally, referring to the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, which was renamed after Floyd in September. "And for the fact that [Chauvin is] at home chilling, eating, relaxing and not in a cell where he should be at, is ridiculous," Rice added.
Chauvin, who was released from custody just before noon Wednesday, is set to face trial in March of 2021. "Officer's Chauvin bail is only $1 million. So it's not enough and it shows you and it's showing us how they value, what type of value that they're putting on Black lives," said Trahern Crews, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Minnesota.
Hundreds of activists marched down to the State Capitol at the St. Paul rally, carrying body bags and gravestone shaped placards with names of alleged victims of police brutality. There were no arrests during Thursday's protests in Minneapolis. The night before, however, 51 people were arrested for breaking the law, per a statement by the Minneapolis Police Department on Thursday.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with the death of Floyd, an unarmed Black man, on Memorial Day. The former police officer sparked outrage across the nation after viral footage showed him clamping his knee against Floyd's neck for nearly 8 minutes, despite the victim's repeated pleas that he couldn't breathe, eventually leading to his death.
Three other officers present involved in the arrest of Floyd — namely J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tau Thao — were also fired from their respective positions and charged with aiding and abetting murder. They were later released after posting bond to the tune of $750,000 each. Floyd's killing stirred a nationwide awakening and sparked several protests against racial injustice and police brutality in major cities such as Portland, albeit many of such protests turned violent and resulted in the destruction of lives and property.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Floyd's family, addressed Chauvin's controversial release in an impassioned statement obtained by Newsweek. "Derek Chauvin's release on bond is a painful reminder to George Floyd's family that we are still far from achieving justice for George," Crump said. "The system of due process worked for Chauvin and afforded him his freedom while he awaits trial."
"In contrast, George Floyd was denied due process, when his life was ended over a $20 bill," the statement continued. "There was no charge, no arrest, no hearing, no bail. Just execution. Although George Floyd was denied justice in life, we will not rest until he is afforded full justice in death. The civil litigation team looks forward to our day in court."