51 arrested in Minneapolis after protesting Chauvin release

Former cop Derek Chauvin was released from custody Wednesday after posting $1 million bond

By Paul Walsh and Abby Simons
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

MINNEAPOLIS — More than four dozen people were arrested late Wednesday in south Minneapolis after an earlier march to protest the release of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd on May 25.

The fired police officer left Oak Park Heights prison earlier Wednesday after posting $1 million bond. In anticipation of unrest, Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard and mobilized 100 State Patrol troopers and 75 Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers to help local law enforcement in case of trouble.

Chauvin was initially booked into the Ramsey County jail after being charged in Floyd’s death and then moved to the state prison for security reasons. He is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Wednesday evening, about 300 people marched peacefully from the site where Floyd died a few blocks north and back, while a contingent of marchers made their way to the Fifth Police Precinct at 31st and Nicollet avenues, where many of the arrests took place.

There were 51 arrests made by various law enforcement agencies in connection with the protest, Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said Thursday.

Elder said 49 of the arrests were for misdemeanor offenses. The Hennepin County jail log shows many were cited for unlawful assembly. One person was arrested for fourth-degree assault and one other on a felony warrant, he said.

The state Department of Public Safety disclosed that 24 of the overall arrests were made by the State Patrol and another 10 by DNR officers.

A live news feed from Unicorn Riot showed several people being ordered to get down on the ground in preparation for arrest on suspicion of illegal assembly.

Members of the National Lawyers Guild were on the scene offering legal support to protesters, and at least two of its members were arrested, Unicorn Riot reported.

Another protest is being organized for Thursday evening by Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Black Lives Matter Minnesota and other activist organizations. It is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. outside the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis.

“It’s a shame that all four killer cops of George Floyd are eating dinner with their families, awaiting their day in court,” said Justice for Jamar representative DeShaun McDonald. “It’s a shame that a murderer can be released by $1 million bond that he doesn’t have because he’s being charged with tax fraud.”

It’s unclear how Chauvin, who is facing tax fraud charges unrelated to the Floyd case, afforded the noncash bail, which was backed by a New Jersey-based bail insurer. Financial information tied to bond and bail postings isn’t public.

At one point Wednesday night, marchers paused to chant, “No justice, no peace!” They then made their way back down Portland Avenue toward E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, site of the Floyd memorial, while motorists and bystanders honked and raised their fists in solidarity.

“Black lives matter!” a young boy shouted from the window of a building on Portland.

Gabriel Black Elk, whose brother, Paul Castaway, was killed by police in Denver in July 2015, said he came to show his support for Floyd’s family. He believes Chauvin should not have been released.

“I’m out here as a family member too to show support and say today shouldn’t have happened. He should have stayed in there,” said Black Elk, an organizer for Native Lives Matter.

©2020 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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