Derek Chauvin is still alive. The former Minneapolis Police Department officer has been the subject of multiple death hoaxes since his arrest. Chauvin, 44, is awaiting trial in relation to the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. Chauvin is facing second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in relation to the incident. On May 26, Chauvin was fired from his job at the Minneapolis Police Department.
There is no evidence to suggest that Chauvin has died. If Chauvin died while in custody, it would be announced through a statement from law enforcement and/or corrections agencies in Minnesota. His death, considering the impact George Floyd’s death had with protests occurring across the world, would be covered by local, national and international news agencies.
A Hoax News Story Alleges That Chauvin Was Killed by Fellow Inmates
In September 2020, a news story from a website named Conservativetears spread on Facebook. The story is titled, “Police Officer Who Murdered George Floyd Killed in Prison.” The website’s subheading reads, “Death hoaxes for your thoughts and prayers.”
The hoax story alleges that Chauvin was killed by fellow inmates in prison. In addition, the story says that Chauvin left “half of his estate to the reelection campaign for impeached President Donald J. Trump.” The hoax story goes on to quote a prison warden named Sandy Batt as saying of Chauvin’s “death:”
I won’t say this murderer’s name. He’s dead, and even though many of my guards had heard rumors that he was going to be offed, we all agreed that if anyone had it coming, this guy had it coming. Good riddance to racist trash.
A disclaimer on the Conservativetears website reads in part, “Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined.”
In May 2020, a Fake News Story Alleged That Chauvin Committed Suicide While in Prison
On May 31, a website named W24 posted a fake news story alleging that Chauvin committed suicide in his jail cell. The W25 cited CBS Minneapolis as their story. The story was never published on CBS Minneapolis’ website. W24 describes itself as a “Europe’s leader in online news and information and seeks to inform, engage and empower Europe.” The website is powered by more than 200 journalists “in every corner of Europe,” according to the profile.
According to Snopes, W24 is a “junk news site that has previously published numerous false claims.”
Chauvin Is Being Held in Minnesota’s Only Level 5 Maximum Security Prison
As of September 2020, Chauvin is housed in Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, the state’s only Level Five maximum security prison. His bail has been set at $1.25 million or $1 million with conditions.
Earlier in September 2020, prosecutors in the George Floyd case alleged that Chauvin has used neck and upper body restraints on at least seven different occasions during arrests.