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Derek Chauvin, Former Officer Convicted In George Floyd’s Killing, Stabbed In Prison

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An inmate at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, stabbed Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer found guilty of killing George Floyd, on Friday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke with CBS News.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement to CBS News: “I am sad to hear that Derek Chauvin was the target of violence. He was duly convicted of his crimes and, like any incarcerated individual, he should be able to serve his sentence without fear of retaliation or violence.”

In a statement to CBS News later on Saturday morning, Ellison said he could confirm that as of last night, Chauvin is “expected to survive.”

A Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson reported that an inmate was “assaulted” at approximately 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday, according to a statement from the Bureau of Prisons. The agency said responding staff contained the incident and carried out “life-saving measures” before the inmate was taken to a nearby hospital “for further treatment,” but it did not identify the assaulted prisoner or describe their condition.

The medium-security prison is known as the Federal Correctional Institution. The FBI was informed and no staff members were hurt, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

August 2022 saw Chauvin, 47, transferred from a maximum-security Minnesota state prison to FCI Tucson to serve a 22½-year state sentence for second-degree murder and a 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights.

In the previous five months, there have been two high-profile stabbings of federal inmates, including Chauvin’s. Disgraced sports physician Larry Nassar was stabbed in July at a federal penitentiary in Florida by a fellow prisoner.

In a little more than a year, this is also the second significant incident at the federal prison in Tucson. An inmate at the low-security prison camp at the facility pulled out a gun in November 2022 and tried to shoot a guest in the head. The prisoner shouldn’t have had the weapon, but it malfunctioned and no one was harmed.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, argued that since he was likely to be targeted, it was best to keep him isolated from the general public and other prisoners. The majority of Chauvin’s time in Minnesota was spent in solitary confinement, “largely for his own protection,” according to court documents Nelson wrote in 2017.

Chauvin’s appeal was denied by the Supreme Court last week, upholding his conviction. In October, Chauvin’s attorneys requested that the Supreme Court take up his case, which was based on a Minnesota trial court’s denial of his requests to sequester the jury and change the venue. Because of the pretrial publicity and the potential for violence and riots in the event of his acquittal, Chauvin contended that the decision to hold the proceedings in Minneapolis deprived him of his right to a fair trial.

On May 25, 2020, Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was charged with attempting to make a convenience store purchase with a fake bill, passed away. Chauvin, a White man, is accused of pinning Floyd to the ground for nine and a half minutes while placing his knee on Floyd’s neck. Due to their involvement in Floyd’s demise, three other former officers who were present at the scene were given lighter state and federal sentences.

Witnesses’ footage of Floyd’s death ignited a global outcry against institutional racism and police brutality.

Following affluent financier Jeffrey Epstein’s jail suicide in 2019, the federal Bureau of Prisons has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of Chauvin’s stabbing. This further demonstrates the agency’s incapacity to protect even its most well-known inmates following the stabbing of Nassar and the suicide of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski in June at a federal medical facility located in eastern North Carolina.

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