As my colleague Jeff Charles reported, 47-year-old ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, convicted of killing George Floyd and sentenced to 22 years behind bars, was stabbed in an Arizona prison Friday, where he’d been relocated to from his former cell in Minnesota in an effort to keep him safer.
Now, reports are emerging that “life-saving” measures had to be employed just to keep him alive.
Many people are wondering, just how could this have happened?
Serious questions are now being asked how Chauvin came to be attacked inside the prison intended to provide him with a greater degree of security.
In Minneapolis, he had been held in the Minnesota Correctional Facility, in Oak Park Heights – and was kept mainly in solitary confinement, for his own safety.
Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis police force, was at extreme risk of violence from other inmates in the state prison, who he may well have arrested as an officer.
While in the maximum-security prison in a Minneapolis suburb, he often spent most of his day in a 10-by-10-foot cell.
Experts said Chauvin was likely to be safer in the federal system. It typically houses less violent inmates, and he would be less likely to mix with inmates he had arrested or investigated as a Minneapolis police officer.
‘It’s dangerous to be an officer in any prison,’ said Tom Heffelfinger, former U.S. Attorney, after Chauvin was sentenced.
‘It’s even more dangerous in state prison because of the nature of the inmate population. There are gangs, for example.
‘And police officers just don’t do well there. Those risks are reduced in a federal prison.’
Chauvin has recently been trying to get his sentence overturned, but the Supreme Court last week refused to hear his case:
The justices turned away Chauvin’s appeal that he filed after a Minnesota appellate court upheld his 2021 murder conviction and rejected his request for a new trial. Chauvin had argued that jury bias and certain rulings by the presiding judge deprived him of his right to a fair trial under the U.S. Constitution’s Sixth Amendment.
Chauvin is also pursuing an effort to overturn his federal guilty plea, claiming new evidence shows he didn’t cause Floyd’s death.
In a motion filed in federal court Monday [November 13], Chauvin said he never would have pleaded guilty to the charge in 2021 if he had known about the theories of a Kansas pathologist with whom he began corresponding in February. Chauvin is asking the judge who presided over his trial to throw out his conviction and order a new trial, or at least an evidentiary hearing.
The pathologist cited above claims that Floyd didn’t die from asphyxia from Chauvin’s notorious knee on the neck, but instead from a rare tumor called a paraganglioma that can cause a fatal surge of adrenaline.
Many on both sides of the aisle believe that Chauvin deserved his sentence and that his actions caused Floyd’s death. Nevertheless, those celebrating what some are calling “Shanksgiving” should be ashamed of themselves:
Derek Chauvin was stabbed
Black Twitter: pic.twitter.com/u6BEec8kSF
— rosechocglam (@rosechocglam) November 25, 2023
Derek Chauvin was tragically stabbed in prison today. How dare you make Happy Shanksgiving trend for that? pic.twitter.com/QYR34JyrRJ
— Thommy (@ThommyWestside7) November 25, 2023
Me after finding out they shanked Derek chauvin in prison and he didn’t die pic.twitter.com/ojzVIwDwxc
— Billy Bong Thorton (@Wat_Manor) November 25, 2023
Happy Shanksgiving to Derek Chauvin. pic.twitter.com/nrGi1DuTGz
— Kelsey Hale (@agirlnamekelsey) November 25, 2023
I will let readers decide what they think of Chauvin, but I think we can all agree that the prison system is obligated to keep him safe—and they utterly failed—and that celebrating the stabbing of a federal prisoner is deranged. Their celebrations bring to mind all the disturbing pro-Hamas protests we’re seeing—where people are literally revering savagery.
Is this what we’ve become?