Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted in the death of George Floyd, was stabbed by an inmate in federal prison in Arizona and seriously injured, a source told The Associated Press.
The AP did not provide Chauvin’s condition but said he was taken to a hospital after “life-saving measures” were performed. The AP indicated that Chauvin is not dead; he was taken to the hospital for “for further treatment and evaluation,” the AP reported, indicating he is still alive.
On December 1, 2023, a federal indictment named the inmate as John Turscak, a former FBI information described in a 2001 Los Angeles Times article as a high-level Mexican Mafia gang leader. The indictment accuses Turscak of stabbing Chauvin 22 times in the prison law library, choosing “Black Friday” to represent the Black Lives Matter movement and Mexican Mafia’s “black hand” symbol.
However, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told the Star Tribune Friday night that he was notified that Chauvin had been stabbed but survived and was in stable condition.”
“I am sad to hear that Derek Chauvin was the target of violence,” Ellison said to the newspaper. “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.”
CNN confirmed both reports through sources – that Chauvin was stabbed and that he is in stable condition.
The Tucson prison confirmed in a news release emailed to Heavy that an inmate was “assaulted” and “life-saving” measures were taken before he was sent to the hospital. The release reads,
“On Friday, November 24, 2023, at approximately 12:30 p.m., an incarcerated individual was assaulted at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Tucson, in Tucson, Arizona,” the release says. “Responding employees isolated and contained the incident and at no time was the public in danger.”
The release continues: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation was notified. No employees were injured during the incident. Responding employees initiated life-saving measures for one incarcerated individual. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were requested while life-saving efforts continued. The incarcerated individual was transported by EMS to a local hospital for further treatment and evaluation.”
The BOP added, “FCI Tucson is a medium security facility.”
The AP’s story was based on an anonymous source; although the Bureau of Prisons has confirmed that an inmate was injured, authorities have not formally confirmed the inmate’s identity. Minneapolis media are also reporting that Chauvin was stabbed, but the news outlets are attributing the information to the AP story.
Chauvin’s mother and attorney told the Minnesota site Alpha News that they were not informed by the prison system about the stabbing and are being kept in the dark.
The report broke on November 24, 2023.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Tucson Prison Where Derek Chauvin Was Stabbed Has Suspended Visiting
The Tucson prison’s website says it houses 382 inmates. “Visiting at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) has been suspended until further notice,” the website for the prison says, although it doesn’t make clear whether the visitation suspension is due to the Chauvin stabbing.
Chauvin is housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate database. It says that the facility is a “medium security federal correctional institution with a detention center.” The database says that Chauvin, 47, has a release date of May 7, 2038.
Heavy has contacted the Bureau of Prisons and the Tucson prison for additional details.
There Was Another Serious Incident at the Same Prison at About the Same Time Last Year
According to Fox News, in November 2022, there was another serious incident at the same prison.
An inmate “attempted to shoot a visitor in the head, but the weapon was misfired,” Fox News reported.
The AP reported that the prison where Chauvin is housed “has been plagued by security lapses and staffing shortages.”
As a very high-profile inmate in a police-related death case, Chauvin would be an obvious security issue behind bars. Other high-profile inmates have been killed in prison; for example, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was beaten to death in a Wisconsin prison and mobster Whitey Bulger was also beaten to death, in a West Virginia prison, according to ABC News.
Derek Chauvin Recently Spoke Out in a New Documentary, Calling His Trial a ‘Sham’
Alpha News, a news site in Minneapolis, recently published a documentary called “The Fall of Minneapolis” that featured an interview with Chauvin.
The documentary was crowdfunded and published for free on a website. It is produced by Liz Collin, a former television reporter in Minneapolis. She became a focal point of controversy after Floyd’s death because of her marriage to the former Minneapolis police union president.
In the documentary, Chauvin called the trial a “sham.” He also said the length of time EMS took to get to the scene after being called there by officers was “not normal.” The documentary argues that Chauvin did not get a fair trial.
Just days Before the Stabbing, the U.S. Supreme Court Declined to Hear Derek Chauvin’s Appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Chauvin’s appeal just days before the stabbing, leaving his conviction in place, according to CBS News.
His appeal focused on his requests “for a change of venue and to sequester the jury,” CBS News reported.
A Minnesota appeals court had previously rejected Chauvin’s appeal, CBS News reported.