Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, was reportedly stabbed and seriously wounded by another inmate on Friday at a federal prison in Arizona, according to an undisclosed source familiar with the situation as reported by The Associated Press.
The incident occurred at the Federal Correctional Institution, Tucson, a medium-security prison known for security lapses and staffing shortages. The source, speaking anonymously to AP, stated that unauthorized disclosure of details regarding the attack was the reason for anonymity.
The Bureau of Prisons confirmed the assault at FCI Tucson around 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday. In response, prison staff contained the situation and administered “life-saving measures” before transporting the injured inmate, whose identity remains undisclosed, to a hospital for further treatment. The FBI was notified, and no prison employees were harmed. Visitation at the facility, housing approximately 380 inmates, has been temporarily suspended.
Efforts to obtain comments from Chauvin’s legal team and the FBI were unsuccessful.
This marks the second high-profile assault on a federal prisoner in the last five months, following the July stabbing of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar in a federal penitentiary in Florida.
Furthermore, this incident adds to the troubled history of the Tucson federal prison, which experienced a gun-related incident in November 2022 when an inmate attempted to shoot a visitor. In August 2022, Chauvin, aged 47, was transferred to FCI Tucson from a maximum-security Minnesota state prison to serve concurrent federal and state sentences for violating George Floyd’s civil rights and second-degree murder, respectively.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had advocated for keeping him out of the general population due to safety concerns, and in Minnesota, he was predominantly held in solitary confinement for his protection.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Chauvin’s appeal of his murder conviction. Simultaneously, Chauvin is attempting to overturn his federal guilty plea, alleging new evidence disproves his responsibility for Floyd’s death.
The stabbing incident at FCI Tucson coincides with increased scrutiny of the federal Bureau of Prisons, which has faced criticism following the suicide of financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2019. The agency has struggled to ensure the safety of high-profile prisoners, as evidenced by Nassar’s stabbing and the suicide of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski in June.
Ongoing investigative reporting by The Associated Press has exposed systemic flaws within the Bureau of Prisons, including sexual abuse, criminal conduct by staff, escapes, violence, deaths, and severe staffing shortages. Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters, brought in last year to address the crisis, has faced criticism for delayed responses to inquiries and perceived lack of transparency. Despite Peters’ efforts to reform the agency, lawmakers have expressed concerns about her commitment to openness and accountability.