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Protesters push bail bond reform following bail release of former officer charged with murder of George Floyd

“… We’d like to know where the money came from,” said Trahern Crews, the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter Minnesota.
Image by Emily Urfer
Demonstrators gather to protest former MPD Officer Derek Chauvin’s release on bail outside of the Hennepin County Government Center on Thursday, Oct. 8. The demonstration began with speeches and ended with a march.

Protesters gathered Thursday night for a second round of demonstrations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, following the bail release of former police officer Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin, whose bail was posted Wednesday, was charged with murder and manslaughter after kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes, all while Floyd was handcuffed and cried out that he could not breathe.

Community outrage quickly followed his bail release. Demonstrators peacefully protested on both Wednesday and Thursday, calling for Chauvin’s conviction, the firing of police union President Bob Kroll and police and bail bond reform.

Cintya Canales, a friend of George Floyd, danced with her children and other members of Indigenous community groups during a traditional Aztec dance ceremony to open the protest and honor Floyd.

“There’s a lot of people in the community that are hurting … There’s a lot of anger,” Canales said. She added that offering these traditional dances to the community is a way of promoting peace, just like marching or speaking out.

Several community organizations banded together to organize the protests in Government Plaza in downtown Minneapolis Thursday night, including Black Lives Matter Minnesota, Blue Lies Matter, Native Lives Matter, Communities United Against Police Brutality and several others.

Despite the fact that police arrested 51 protesters Wednesday night, hundreds showed up in front of the Hennepin County Government Center to honor George Floyd and others killed in police custody. Cortez Rice, George Floyd’s “nephew by loyalty,” said that they are “not asking anymore.”

University of Minnesota first-year roommates Bella Carpentier and Arthi Jegraj attended the demonstration because of the racial disparities they have seen in Minneapolis. Jegraj, an Indian woman from San Francisco, said she does not see racial diversity on campus and does not feel as safe as she did back home.

“I’m here because it personally affects me as a person of color, and it’s something that I wasn’t able to do under my parent’s roof. And now that I’m out on my own, it’s a cause that I can openly support,” Jegraj said.

Meanwhile, in Saint Paul, around 150 demonstrators calling themselves “The Secret March,” made their way from the State Capitol down University Avenue. Police and other law enforcement were present, many donning riot gear as they surrounded the state’s capitol building, blocked off side street access to University Avenue and followed the march.

Many community organizers expressed confusion as to how Chauvin, who the Minneapolis Police Department fired on May 26, could afford to cover his $1 million bail.

Black Lives Matter Minnesota’s lead organizer and lifetime resident of St. Paul Trahern Crews described Chauvin as a “flight risk” who should not have been able to post bail.

“… We’d like to know where the money came from,” Crews said. “We think that the fraternal order of police, if they did raise money for him, should stop raising money for killer cops.”

Court documents show a non-cash bond posted for Chauvin by an unknown benefactor through A-Affordable Bail Bonds in Brainerd, Minnesota. Chauvin was released from a state high-security prison in Oak Park Heights on the same day. The bail system requires that only 10%, in this case $100,000, be paid to a bail bond company in order for bail to be posted.

Chauvin must follow several judge-ruled conditions until his court date in March 2021.

A bail fund was posted on Give, Send, Go, which labels itself as the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site,” for Chauvin. While the fund organizers only raised $5,580 of their $125,000 goal as of Oct. 9, an update on the site said any donations will now be used for Chauvin’s living expenses.

Many organizers said the bail system does not favor Black people the way it helped Chauvin and other officers.

“A lot of reasons why Black people are killed by the police and why they’re able to get away with it is because of economics,” Crews said. “They say there’s underlying issues that make a person get COVID-19, and there’s also underlying issues that lead up to police terror, and it deals with poverty.”

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  • A Gopher
    Oct 25, 2020 at 11:43 am

    I challenge you to watch the leaked body cam video of George Floyd ranting and raving, of yeah, he’s so cooperative. Read the coroners report, he had advanced coronary artery disease and there is no legal amount of meth or fentanyl when you aren’t prescribed those substances. Also, watch the video of his arrest one year prior and see how many pills and powder they pull off of him why he’s full on tripping out. And yet, you choose only the narrative that paints all cops as the problem while crime skyrockets and think you can lecture me about looking in the mirror. You’re an absolute joke and woke folk like you are the exact reason why Trump got elected. Facts are facts, start changing facts and now you’re fake news, so congrats you played yourself again.

  • A Gopher
    Oct 25, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Don’t waste your time, facts fly right over her head. Guarantee she lives in a majority white neighborhood, but pretends she a black ally. Always from a safe distance though, never would a person like this ever move to the hood or put themselves in a situation to help when they felt uncomfortable. So people like Sarah turn to the internet and protest where they can hide. They’ll never do anything of substance around “ethnics,” because their actions prove they don’t actually want to live or work around us colored folk!

  • CapnRusty
    Oct 23, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Sarah: From the tenor of your comment, I feel like I will be wasting my time to respond. Nonetheless —

    One of the fundamental principles undergirding what is meant by the Rule of Law is that a person is innocent until proven guilty (which includes a police officer). Your ignorance of that principle is revealed by your use of the word “murder.” Murder can only be established by a trial, at which evidence must be presented. The video of Mr Floyd’s death is certainly shocking, but that is not evidence upon which to convict Officer Chauvin.

    You refer to a well-researched, unbiased piece of journalism. Surely you cannot mean the article upon which I have commented. The medical examiner’s report upon Mr Floyd’s death, along with the transcript of conversations between Mr Floyd and the police officers, along with video taken of the even from a variety of location are all available to the authors. But I see no mention of that evidence in the article.

  • Sarah
    Oct 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    George Floyd had legal amounts of the substances found in the coroner’s investigation. He was only near death because of Officer Chauvin’s knee resting on his trachea. What part of the video recordings show an uncooperative thug? The part where he said “I can’t breathe”?

    I agree that no reasonable jury on this planet would convict a cop of doing his job. Too bad that killing for more than life and death self-defense or defense of others is not in his job description. A reasonable jury would convict an officer of murder when the victim was unarmed and non-aggressive.

    Instead of accusing a college student of “psychotic thinking” for an unbiased piece, reporting on bail bond reform, maybe take a look in the mirror and see who really needs to quit acting like they’re on the side of morality.

  • Sarah
    Oct 23, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    What part about the past 2,000 years are you citing in reference to rule of law? Are you referencing the thousands of years of institutionalized slavery? or maybe segregation in the United States that lasted up until 50 years ago? or maybe we can talk about the ongoing police brutality in America, continually brought to the forefront of social issues because of MURDERS like George Floyd’s. Sir, you are the foolish one, if you think that the murder of George Floyd is anything but a horrific crime. Open up a history book before commenting upon a well-researched, unbiased piece of journalism.

  • A Gopher
    Oct 23, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Little Mao’s then, do you have any substantive argument or contribution to make? Your Grindr game must be pretty damn weak if all your comments are less than a sentence and have no substance.

  • Jack Woodward
    Oct 23, 2020 at 9:39 am

    “little hitlers” jeez bro cry yourself a river 🙁

  • Jack Woodward
    Oct 23, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Not pog bro ;(

  • Tom
    Oct 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Little Mao’s is probably more accurate but yeah.

  • CapnRusty
    Oct 12, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    The medical examiner’s report on George Floyd is available on-line. A transcript of the vocal interactions between Mr Floyd and the police officers is available on-line. Bodycam videos and surveillance videos of the event are available on-line. Also available to UMN students is the law library, wherein you will find thorough explanations of how it is that due process safeguards protect the innocent from over-zealous prosecutors and mobs. There are also history books in the UMN library which will explain how it was in the past, where due process was ignored, and white mobs hanged innocent black men without evidence, and without a trial. You should read all of those materials before you claim that George Floyd was “murdered.” After all, the taxpayers who fund your university are expecting you to learn something instead of demonstrating your ignorance.

    You foolish, foolish people would do away with the Rule of Law that was developed over the course of 2,000 years of Western Civilization.

  • CapnRusty
    Oct 12, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    You and Gopher and I comment on the idiocy that passes for learning at UMN. Have you noticed that none of these would-be journalists ever respond to us in the comments?

  • GeorgeHanshaw1
    Oct 12, 2020 at 11:00 am

    The real question is why these police were even arrested. They responded to a complaint of someone passing counterfeit money, found someone intoxicated with meth and fentanyl, and called an ambulance for him. The dude died of his drugs while the ambulance was encountering to the scene. These cops are all going to walk unless the tax evasion charge on Chauvin sticks. Even if it does, the other three never should have been charged at all.