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Fundraising twist as police officer charged over George Floyd death walks free

One of four police officers charged in connection with George Floyd’s death was reportedly bailed out of jail with crowdfunded money.

Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were arrested after protests sparked by footage of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck went global.

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and the three other officers involved in the arrest were charged with aiding and abetting.

Thomas Lane, one of the Minneapolis police officers charged over George Floyd's death, posted his $750,000 bail on Wednesday, reportedly from crowdfunded money.
Thomas Lane posted his $750,000 bail on Wednesday, reportedly from crowdfunded money. Source: AP

Lane walked free on Wednesday (local time) after handing over a US$750,000 (AU$1.08 million) bond, sourced from donations made to a crowdfunding account, Star Tribune reported.

The site, which was removed when Mr Lane was released, cited the bail being unfairly high and Lane apparently “did everything he could” to save Mr Floyd, according to the publication.

Lane’s lawyer Earl Gray claimed he was not aware of how much of the fundraised money was used to pay for his client’s bail, nor did he know who was behind setting it up.

“Lane and his family appreciate your support and prayers during this time,” the site reportedly stated.

George Floyd's death has sparked worldwide Black Lives Matter protests.
George Floyd was killed on May 25. His death sparked protests worldwide. Source: AP

Last week Mr Gray said Lane was a rookie and the only thing he did was hold Mr Floyd's feet so he couldn't kick.

The criminal complaint also said Lane expressed concern about Mr Floyd and asked Chauvin twice if they should roll Floyd to his side, but Chauvin said no.

Mr Gray said Lane also performed CPR in the ambulance and told the Star Tribune he planned to bring a motion to dismiss the charges.

J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao have remained behind bars, with a bail of US$750,000 (AU$1.08 million) set for each of them.

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on George Floyd's neck before the black man's death. He was fired and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Derek Chauvin was fired after the incident and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Source: AP

Chauvin’s bail was initially set at US$1 million (AU$1.46 million), but was raised to US$1.25 million (AU$1.78 million) at a hearing.

He was fired on May 26 and initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter before having his charges upgraded.

Mr Floyd's death has triggered the largest nationwide protests in decades as demonstrators call for policing reforms and policies to address racism and inequalities in society.

With Associated Press

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