Tuscon, AZ — Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd in 2020, was stabbed in a federal prison on Friday. In a statement, the Bureau of Prisons said an incarcerated person was “assaulted” at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson at around 12:30 p.m. local time Friday.
The agency did not name the inmate assaulted or their condition but said responding employees contained the incident and performed “life-saving measures” before taking the inmate to a hospital “for treatment and evaluation.” According to a statement made by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Chauvin is “expected to survive.”
Chauvin, who is serving a 22-and-a-half-year sentence for second-degree murder in Minnesota and a 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, had previously requested to be kept away from the general prison population for his own safety. Given the high profile and notoriety of his case, Chauvin is considered a target among inmates. Throughout his time in jail in Minnesota, he spent most of it in solitary confinement.
This incident at the Tucson federal prison is not the first security lapse involving high-profile prisoners. In 2019, financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was facing sex trafficking charges, died in an alleged suicide while in custody. Additionally, in July 2023, sex-abusing sports doctor Larry Nassar was stabbed by another inmate at the facility.
It has been a challenging week for Chauvin, as the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his appeal of the state conviction on Monday. It had been argued by his lawyers that he had not been given a fair trial due to the publicity surrounding his trial and the potential for violent protests if he had been found not guilty. An appeal of his federal conviction is still pending.
George Floyd’s death during his arrest sparked global protests against police brutality and racial injustice. While opinions may differ on the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s culpability, it is important to recognize that perpetrators of a wrongful death do not automatically absolve their victims of any wrongdoing.
The Bureau of Prisons has yet to release further information on the incident, including the motive behind the attack and the current condition of the injured prisoner.