Chauvin 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 22-and-a-half-year state sentence for second-degree murder.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, had advocated for keeping him out of general population and away from other inmates, anticipating he’d 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 U.S. Supreme Court rejected Chauvin’s appeal of his murder conviction.
Separately, Chauvin is making a long-shot bid to overturn his federal guilty plea, claiming new evidence shows he didn’t cause Floyd’s death.
No employees were injured in Friday’s attack, and the FBI was notified, the Bureau of Prisons said.
Visiting at the facility, which has about 380 inmates, has been suspended.
Chauvin’s stabbing is the second high-profile attack on a federal prisoner in the last five months.
In July, disgraced sports doctor 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.
Floyd, who was black, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pressed a knee on his neck for nine and a half minutes on the street outside a convenience store where Floyd was suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit $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.
Chauvin’s stabbing comes as the federal Bureau of Prisons has faced increased scrutiny in recent years following wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein’s jail suicide in 2019.
It’s another example of the agency’s inability to keep even its highest profile prisoners safe after Nassar’s stabbing and ‘Unabomber’ Ted Kaczynski’s suicide at a federal medical center in June.