According to reports, former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was recently convicted of second-degree murder for the death of George Floyd, was stabbed in prison by another inmate on Friday. The incident occurred at Federal Correctional Institution, Tucson, a medium-security prison, at around 12:30 p.m. Prison officials confirmed that an inmate had been assaulted and was treated for serious injuries at a local hospital.
While the Bureau of Prisons did not identify the inmate involved in the incident, sources have told the Associated Press that it was Chauvin who was stabbed. The identity of the attacker has not been revealed yet. Following the incident, the prison has suspended all visitations.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had previously expressed concerns about his client’s safety in prison due to the intense media attention surrounding the case. He had stated that Chauvin spent most of his time in solitary confinement for his own protection.
Chauvin’s legal team had also filed an appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court last month, arguing that their client did not receive a fair trial due to the extensive pre-trial publicity and community outrage in Minneapolis. However, the high court rejected the appeal.
Chauvin’s trial last year gained widespread attention after videos of Floyd’s detainment on the ground went viral, sparking protests and riots across the country. His attorney, William Mohrman, argued that the trial should have been moved to a different location to ensure a fair trial for his client, as most of the potential jurors had already formed opinions about the case.
Mohrman further stated that during the jury selection, almost all the jurors had expressed concern for their personal safety due to the community’s outrage and the likelihood of more riots if Chauvin was not convicted. He added that this made it difficult to impanel a fair jury, as most potential jurors had already formed firm conclusions.
Apart from the second-degree murder conviction, Chauvin was also convicted of a federal civil rights violation and is serving over 20 years for it concurrently with his state sentence.
This is not the first time a high-profile inmate has been attacked in prison. In 2019, Charles Manson’s convicted follower, Bobby Beausoleil, was stabbed in prison. It remains to be seen whether the attacker will face any charges or further punishments for the attack on Chauvin.