John Turscak, an inmate serving a 30-year sentence for crimes linked to the Mexican Mafia gang, has been charged with attempted murder following the stabbing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in an Arizona federal prison. Chauvin, convicted for the murder of George Floyd, was attacked with an improvised knife by Turscak in the prison’s law library on November 24, according to federal prosecutors.
Turscak reportedly stabbed Chauvin 22 times, expressing intentions to kill him due to his high-profile status. However, quick response from correctional officers prevented a fatal outcome. Chauvin was subsequently hospitalized for his injuries. Turscak, who previously worked as an FBI informant, revealed to FBI agents that his attack was symbolic, correlating Black Friday with the Black Lives Matter movement and the “Black Hand” symbol of the Mexican Mafia.
Facing multiple charges including assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury, Turscak could be sentenced to an additional 20 years for each of the major charges. Currently represented by himself in several court matters, Turscak has been transferred to an adjacent federal penitentiary in Tucson where he remains in custody.
Derek Chauvin, currently serving a combined 21-year federal sentence and 22½-year state sentence for the murder of George Floyd and violating his civil rights, was initially kept in solitary confinement for his protection. The death of Floyd, a Black man, under Chauvin’s knee sparked global protests and a reckoning with police brutality and systemic racism. The attack on Chauvin underscores the ongoing tensions and repercussions of the high-profile case.