MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fifty-one people were arrested during protests Wednesday after a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd was released on bail.
Derek Chauvin had been in custody in a Minnesota prison as he awaits a March trial on charges of murder and other counts. He was released Wednesday after posting a $1 million bond. He had been held in a state prison instead of a local jail for security reasons.
On Wednesday evening, about 300 people marched peacefully near the site where Minneapolis police tried to arrest Floyd on May 25 for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Floyd died after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after the handcuffed Black man pleaded for air.
Among the protesters was Gabriel Black Elk, whose brother, Paul Castaway, was killed by police in Denver in July 2015. Elk told the Star Tribune he came to show his support for Floyd’s family.
“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. “It’s tiring for us justice families to see these cops getting away with murder. It’s just too much. It’s too much to see it happen again and again.”
Later Wednesday, tensions rose outside a Minneapolis police station as law enforcement moved in and ordered the crowd to disperse. A live feed from Unicorn Riot showed several people being ordered to the ground in preparation for arrest.
Police spokesman John Elder said 49 of the arrests were for misdemeanors. Many of those were cited for unlawful assembly. One person was arrested for fourth-degree assault and another was arrested on a felony warrant.