A source told the Associated Press (AP) that former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was stabbed in prison. The anonymous source said Chauvin was stabbed just after 12 p.m. local time on November 24, at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Tucson, Ariz.
Chauvin is currently hospitalized at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson. Chauvin’s attorney Gregory Erickson said he and Chauvin’s family have not heard from the Bureau of Prisons, the hospital, or Chauvin himself about his condition. Representatives from the hospital cannot disclose his condition for privacy reasons.
An official press release from the Bureau of Prisons did not identify Chauvin as the victim but confirmed that the incident happened. A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said they could not divulge the victim’s name for privacy and safety reasons.
At press time, authorities had not disclosed who stabbed Chauvin, but it has been reported that he was stabbed by another inmate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted by the Bureau of Prisons about the incident. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a statement that they cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into what happened at FCI Tucson. They did add, however, that they typically prosecute inmate-on-inmate violence that happens at facilities managed by the Bureau of Prisons.
Chauvin murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020, at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis. The incident, which involved Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes, was recorded and disseminated on social media leading to unrest locally, nationally, and around the world.
Charged with second-degree murder in state court and for violating Floyd’s civil rights in federal court, Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd in April 2021, and was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in state prison in June 2021.
He submitted a guilty plea as part of a plea deal in federal court in December 2021, and was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison plus five years of supervised release in July 2022. In August 2022, he was moved to FCI Tucson, a medium-security prison.
The federal prison in Tucson has been beset by safety and maintenance issues over the past several years, in part because of staffing issues. The prison’s air conditioning system broke in July.
Last November, an inmate managed to obtain a weapon and tried unsuccessfully to shoot a visitor at an adjacent prison camp, according to local media. In April 2022, an altercation resulted in the death of Austin Carlin, who was convicted in Texas for kidnapping a minor and taking them across state lines.
In 2018, former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of abusing over 150 girls during his career, said he was assaulted while at FCI Tucson.
Chauvin is appealing his guilty plea, saying his attorney did not tell him that a doctor was willing to testify on his behalf to say Floyd died of a tumor. He has yet to win a single appeal in state or federal court.
Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of his second-degree murder conviction on the grounds he had an unfair trial due to ongoing publicity and fears of unrest if he were acquitted. Chauvin’s attorneys, Eric Nelson and Gregory Erickson, advocated for him to be kept in segregation because his past life as a police officer could make him a target. Both were contacted about the incident.