Update (October 23, 2020): A judge dropped the third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, the former officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25 in Minneapolis.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill announced the dismissal of charges on Wednesday but denied dropping the remaining charges against Chauvin, according to CNN. 

Cahill said the third-degree murder charge can only "be sustained only in situations in which the defendant's actions were 'eminently dangerous to other persons' and were not specifically directed at the particular person whose death occurred."

According to the Star Tribune, the ruling was based on a 2014 Minnesota Supreme Court case that stated a third-degree murder charge "cannot occur where the defendant's actions were focused on a specific person."

The former officer is still facing a higher charge of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Cahill also denied dismissing charges against the other former officers involved in the killing of Floyd, stating there was enough evidence for jurors to decide if they should be convicted on aiding and abetting charges, the Star Tribune reported. Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

The lead prosecutor said the judge's ruling on Wednesday was a "positive step forward in the path toward justice for George Floyd, his family, our community and Minnesota."

"The court has sustained eight out of nine charges against the defendants in the murder of George Floyd, including the most serious charges against all four defendants," Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said.

Additionally, the judge's ruling led Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to issue an executive order activating the state's National Guard for public safety measures if needed. 

Original (October 7, 2020): Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been released on bond after being seen on camera choking George Floyd to death by way of his kneeling in May. 

According to TMZ, Chauvin was let out of Oak Park Heights prison in Minnesota on Wednesday after he managed to post a $1 million non-cash bond backed by A-Affordable Bail Bonds. 

His next court appearance is scheduled for March, when his trial is slated to begin. He is currently facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.