MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Derek Chauvin, the infamous ex-police officer of Minneapolis who was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder, has been stabbed while serving his sentence in an Arizona prison, as reported by the Associated Press. The attack took place in the Federal Correctional Institution situated in Tucson, Arizona, a facility that has been battling with staffing shortages, thus affecting its security.
An insider, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed to AP that the attack on Chauvin by a fellow inmate resulted in severe injuries. The Bureau of Prisons confirmed the incident, stating that it occurred around 12:30 p.m. on Friday at the Tucson facility involving an inmate whose identity was not disclosed.
The Bureau of Prisons, in a statement, said, “During the incident, no employees were injured. The staff on duty initiated life-saving measures for the attacked inmate. While the life-saving efforts were ongoing, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were called.” The statement also mentioned that EMS took the inmate to a local hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
This incident comes after the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the high-profile case involving the death of George Floyd. This decision, issued without dissent from any of the justices, effectively upholds Chauvin’s conviction and 22-and-a-half-year sentence. This ruling has profound implications for the nation’s legal landscape and its ongoing discourse on police conduct and racial justice.
In this case, the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant certiorari or a review arrived after the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed Chauvin’s petition in July without elaboration. This series of judicial rejections leaves Chauvin, a white former police officer, to serve his sentence for the second-degree murder of Floyd, a black man, in an incident that ignited a global outcry and a nationwide reckoning on race and policing.
The case’s roots trace back to a fateful day in March 2020, when Chauvin, responding to a call about a counterfeit bill, knelt on Floyd’s neck for approximately nine minutes during an arrest. The harrowing scene, captured on video by a bystander, showed Floyd pleading for his life, stating he couldn’t breathe. The footage sparked widespread protests, riots, and a profound national and international movement calling for police reform and racial equality.
During Chauvin’s trial, medical testimony played a pivotal role. Five doctors, including the local medical examiner, concluded that Floyd died of positional asphyxia. However, they also noted significant contributing factors, such as Floyd’s underlying health conditions and drug use. In contrast, defense witnesses argued that these factors, rather than Chauvin’s actions, were primarily responsible for Floyd’s death.
Chauvin’s conviction in April 2021 on charges of third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter came after a jury deliberation spanning two days. This verdict was a watershed moment in the nation’s history, symbolizing a rare instance of a police officer being held criminally liable for actions taken in the line of duty.
In addition to his state conviction, Chauvin also faced federal charges. In December 2021, he had pleaded guilty to violating federal laws in two separate incidents, including the case involving Floyd and another involving a 14-year-old child. He was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison, with credit for time served.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear Chauvin’s appeal culminated in a series of legal battles. Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, had argued that the intense pretrial publicity, coupled with the tumultuous social climate marked by anti-police protests and race riots, created an inherently prejudicial environment. Mohrman contended that this atmosphere compromised Chauvin’s right to a just trial under the Sixth Amendment and questioned whether a change of venue should have been granted.
Journalists have tried contacting Chauvin’s legal representatives for their comments on the incident. The FBI has also been made aware of the incident, as per the Bureau of Prisons.
Chauvin, in July 2022, admitted to federal charges of infringing George Floyd’s civil rights during an arrest on May 25, 2020, by pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck, causing Floyd’s death. Following this, Chauvin was sentenced to 21 years in a federal prison.