A mural of George Floyd adorns a convenient store wall in the Third Ward neighborhood in Houston (Photo Credit: Todd A. Smith/Regal Media Group).
Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer whose knee to the neck of George Floyd for over nine minutes caused a murder that led to worldwide protests against police brutality, got stabbed in prison.
Although he was seriously injured, Chauvin is expected to survive the attack, which occurred on Nov. 24.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison released a statement via email saying, “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.”
Nevertheless, many social media users took the opportunity to praise the fact that Chauvin found himself the victim of violence.
Keith Rovere, a former prison minister and host of the “Lighter Side of Serial Killers” podcast said, “He was a dead man walking his first day in prison. This definitely won’t be the last attack.”
In fact, Rovere found it surprising that it took this long for an attack on Chauvin to occur.
The podcaster said that high profile inmates like Chauvin often find themselves targeted for attacks by prison gangs.
Rovere said, “And it’s not exactly a fair fight—they’re going to wait until you’re alone and your back is turned.”
However, Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd said that he would not wish for anyone to be stabbed in prison.
He added that he felt numb when he heard the news about Chauvin getting stabbed in federal prison.
Reuters reported, “Chauvin is serving a 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, as well as a concurrent 22-1/2 years for murder on his conviction in Minnesota state court.
“The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed an unidentified inmate was assaulted at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona. It said employees ‘initiated life-saving measures’ for one individual, who was taken by emergency medical services to a hospital. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons said it was not providing the name of the victim or their medical status due to privacy reasons.”
While many media outlets have reported on the stabbing of Chauvin, as of Nov. 28, Chauvin’s family members say they have not received updates on their relative’s status following the attack.
Trisha Ahmed and Michael R. Sisak of the Associated Press reported, “An attorney for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, said Saturday that Chauvin’s family has been kept in the dark by federal prison officials after he was stabbed in prison.
“The lawyer, Gregory M. Erickson, slammed the lack of transparency by the Federal Bureau of Prisons a day after his client was stabbed on Friday by another inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, a prison that has been plagued by security lapses.”
In a statement, Erickson said, “As an outsider, I view this lack of communication with his attorneys and family members as completely outrageous. It appears to be indicative of a poorly run facility and indicates how Derek’s assault was allowed to happen.”
Erickson continued, “How the family members who are in charge of Derek’s decisions regarding his personal medical care and his emergency contact were not informed after his stabbing further indicates the institution’s poor procedures and lack of institutional control.”
The lawyer’s comments are nothing new as many have criticized federal prison officials for lack of communication and lack of transparency for years.
Many people have had loved-ones who fall ill or are seriously injured while in custody.
However, many have struggled to get timely and accurate information regarding the condition of their loved-ones.
The Associated Press reported that the Bureau of Prisons ignored their internal rules and failed to notify loved-ones when prisoners contracted COVID-19 even as the virus ran rampant in federal prisons.
The A.P. reported, “The issue around family notification has also prompted federal legislation introduced last year in the U.S. Senate that would require the Justice Department to establish guidelines for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and state correctional systems to notify the families of incarcerated people if their loved one has a serious illness, a life-threatening injury or if they die behind bars.”
Michael Ruiz of Fox News reported, “Chauvin, a 19-year member of the Minneapolis Police Department who garnered both medals for bravery and more than a dozen civilian complaints, held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than (nine) minutes on Memorial Day 2020, a slaying captured entirely on a bystander’s cellphone video, which prompted nationwide riots and calls to ‘defund’ police departments that have had a lasting effect on U.S. cities. Floyd had been accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill.”
The murder of Floyd also led to Congress attempting to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which has failed to materialize so far.
According to the House Committee on the Judiciary, if ever passed, “The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act [would be] a bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and built trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias to help save lives. This legislation makes it easier for the federal government to successfully prosecute police misconduct cases, ends racial and religious profiling and eliminates qualified immunity for law enforcement. The legislation bans the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants—which took the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Eric Garner—at the federal level and encourages states to do the same.”