Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer convicted for the murder of George Floyd, was seriously injured following a stabbing incident at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona. The attack, which occurred around 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday, was confirmed by the Bureau of Prisons. Responding staff administered life-saving measures before the victim, who was not named by the agency, was transported to a hospital for treatment and evaluation.
This incident at the medium-security prison, known for security lapses and staffing shortages, was not isolated. The facility has been the site of other significant occurrences, including an attempted shooting in November 2022 when an inmate tried to fire a gun at a visitor. The gun misfired, and no injuries were reported.
Chauvin, 47, had been moved to the FCI Tucson in August 2022 to serve a 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights alongside a 22½-year state sentence for second-degree murder. His lawyer, Eric Nelson, had previously expressed concerns for Chauvin’s safety, advocating for his separation from the general population due to the high risk of being targeted by other inmates. In Minnesota, Chauvin was primarily held in solitary confinement for his protection.
This attack follows the July stabbing of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar in a Florida federal penitentiary and adds to the list of high-profile incidents in federal prisons. It also comes shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Chauvin’s appeal of his murder conviction. Chauvin is attempting to overturn his federal guilty plea, citing new evidence regarding Floyd’s death.
Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, sparked worldwide protests and a national examination of police brutality and racism. The incident was captured on bystander video, showing Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes. Three other officers involved received lesser sentences for their roles in Floyd’s death.
The Bureau of Prisons has faced increased scrutiny following Jeffrey Epstein’s jail suicide in 2019 and “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski’s suicide in June at a federal medical center. An ongoing investigation by The Associated Press has revealed significant flaws within the Bureau, including sexual abuse, violence, escapes, and staffing issues affecting emergency responses.
Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters, appointed last year, has vowed to implement reforms, improve hiring practices, and increase transparency. Despite these efforts, lawmakers have expressed frustration over delayed responses and lack of clear information from the Bureau.