Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted in George Floyd’s killing, was on Friday stabbed by another inmate at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office announced, per KTSP.
Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara also shared details about the attack, saying “federal law enforcement partners” informed him Chauvin was in a “stable condition” in the wake of the attack.
The attack comes after Chauvin’s appeal against his state second-degree murder conviction was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. “Anyone who’s assaulted like this, regardless of what they’ve been accused of, deserves to be safe and that’s certainly not cause for any celebration,” O’Hara said in response to the attack.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Elison in a statement also said he was “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,” Elison added.
Steve Schleicher, an independent prosecutor, also shared similar sentiments. “This matter should be investigated and anyone responsible should be held accountable and face consequences for their conduct,” Schleicher said.
Prior to the attack, Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson had appealed to keep the former police officer out of general population and for his isolation from other inmates as he feared Chauvin could be targeted, KTSP reported.
In April 2021, Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison after he was found guilty on three counts: Second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes.
The judge said Chauvin’s sentence was based “on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown” to Floyd.
Floyd’s death triggered a wave of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial discrimination in the United States, with people calling for swift reforms. The protests eventually spread to other countries.