One of George Floyd‘s friends has revealed he “broke down and cried” upon hearing the officer charged with the murder of Floyd had been released from jail.
Protests took place in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, after Derek Chauvin posted a $1 million.
“I broke down and cried. I went over there on 38th and George Floyd and just sat there,” Cortez Rice said during a rally.
The intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where Floyd was killed, was renamed after him 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.”
Chauvin was released from custody just before noon on Wednesday. His trial is due to take place in March of next year.
“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.
At the St. Paul rally, hundreds of people marched down to the State Capitol. They carried body bags and gravestone-shaped signs with names of those who have died at the hands of police.
No one was arrested during Thursday’s protests in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis Police Department released a statement on Thursday saying that on Wednesday night, the first night of protests, 51 people were arrested.
Chauvin is facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges relating to the death of Floyd, a Black man, on May 25.
The former police officer was filmed clamping his knee against the neck of Floyd for almost 8 minutes, despite the victim protesting that he could not breathe before dying.
Three other officers present during the killing of Floyd were fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder. They were also released on bond, in the amount of $750,000 each.
Floyd’s killing led to worldwide protests against police brutality, which have carried on since then in cities such as Portland.
“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,” Ben Crump, the attorney for Floyd’s family, said in a statement obtained by Newsweek.
“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.”