An inmate has been charged with attempted homicide for stabbing Derek Chauvin 22 times last week, the police officer who killed African-American George Floyd, in a federal prison, prosecutors announced Friday.
The death of George Floyd, in May 2020 during his arrest, provoked a large anti-racist movement in the United States and beyond American borders. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer then a veteran law enforcement officer in Minneapolis (north), remained kneeling for nearly ten minutes on the neck of George Floyd, aged 46, and remained indifferent to the interventions of shocked passers-by and the groans of the forty-year-old.
Serving a sentence of 22 and a half years in prison, Mr. Chauvin, 47, was attacked on November 24, 2023 in a library of a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona. He survived his injuries.
One of his fellow inmates, John Turscak, 52, is accused of stabbing him more than 20 times using a homemade knife, according to a court document.
The man told investigators that he had knowingly chosen the date of the attack, “Black Friday” day, famous for its commercial discounts, in reference to the anti-racist movement “Black Lives Matter”, again according to the same source. “Mr. Turscak told prison officers that he would have killed (Mr. Chauvin) if they had not reacted so quickly,” the document continues.
The federal prosecutors’ office in Tucson said it had charged Mr. Turscack with several counts, including attempted homicide, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and assault causing serious injury. The man is also accused of stabbing another inmate more than 20 times, again with a knife.
In stable condition
Although no press release or complaint gives the full name of Derek Chauvin, an official source confirmed to AFP that the victim was indeed the former Minneapolis police officer. According to American media, he was hospitalized and is in stable condition.
The death of George Floyd sparked huge protests against racism and police violence. According to the scene of the homicide filmed and posted online, Derek Chauvin had kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck, even once the black forty-year-old had passed out and his pulse had become undetectable. Two other police officers helped hold him down.
He was found guilty of murder by the courts of the state of Minnesota following a closely watched trial in 2021. The Supreme Court of the United States rejected Derek Chauvin’s appeal against this conviction in November. The former police officer requested the annulment of the sentence, on the grounds that the extreme media coverage of the case and the risk of riots had deprived him of a “fair” trial.