Derek Chauvin, convicted of George Floyd’s murder, reported to have been stabbed in prison

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, is reported to have been stabbed by another inmate and seriously injured at a federal prison in Arizona, according to the Associated Press (AP) new agency, which is citing an anonymous source.

The attack is reported to have happened on Friday at the Federal Correctional Institution, Tucson, a medium-security prison that has been plagued by security lapses and staffing shortages.

AP said the person was not authorised to publicly discuss details of the attack and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The New York Times is also reporting the incident, citing two people with knowledge of the situation.

The Bureau of Prisons confirmed that an incarcerated person was assaulted at FCI Tucson at about 12.30pm local time on Friday, according to AP.

In a statement, the agency said responding employees contained the incident and performed “life-saving measures” before the inmate, who it did not name, was taken to a hospital for further treatment and evaluation.

No employees were injured and the FBI was notified, the Bureau of Prisons said. Visiting at the facility, which has about 380 inmates, has been suspended.

Messages seeking comment were left with Chauvin’s lawyers and the FBI.

The incident is the second high-profile attack on a federal prisoner in the past five months. In July, disgraced sports Dr Larry Nassar was stabbed by a fellow inmate at a federal penitentiary in Florida.

It is also the second major incident at the Tucson federal prison in a little over a year. In November 2022, an inmate at the facility’s low-security prison camp pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot a visitor in the head. The weapon, which the inmate shouldn’t have had, misfired and no one was hurt.

Chauvin, 47, was sent to FCI Tucson from a maximum-security Minnesota state prison in August 2022 to simultaneously serve a 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights and a 22½-year state sentence for second-degree murder.

Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, had advocated for keeping him out of the general population and away from other inmates, anticipating he would be a target. In Minnesota, Chauvin was mainly kept in solitary confinement “largely for his own protection”, Nelson wrote in court papers last year.

Last week, the US supreme court rejected Chauvin’s appeal against his murder conviction. Separately, Chauvin is making a bid to overturn his federal guilty plea, claiming new evidence shows he didn’t cause Floyd’s death.

Floyd, who was Black, died on 25 May 2020 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed a knee on his neck for 9½ minutes on the street outside a convenience store where Floyd was suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit US$20 bill.

Bystander video captured Floyd’s fading cries of “I can’t breathe”. His death touched off protests worldwide, some of which turned violent, and forced a national reckoning with police brutality and racism.

Three other former officers who were at the scene received lesser state and federal sentences for their roles in Floyd’s death.

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