Derek Chauvin, the US police officer whose murder of George Floyd sparked massive racial justice protests in 2020, was stabbed in prison on Friday, the New York Times reported citing unnamed sources.
Chauvin, who is white, knelt on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes on a Minneapolis street despite the dying man’s pleas.
Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe” subsequently became a rallying call for the demonstrators who took to the streets in the killing’s aftermath.
The US Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed an assault to AFP without naming the person injured.
“An incarcerated individual was assaulted at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Tucson,” in the southwestern state of Arizona, it said in a statement.
“Responding employees initiated life-saving measures for one incarcerated individual,” the statement said. “The incarcerated individual was transported… to a local hospital for further treatment and evaluation.”
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in 2021, and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
The incident was caught on video, helping galvanize huge protests and a reckoning on racism and policing in the United States and internationally.
A subsequent Justice Department probe into the Minneapolis police, the findings of which were published in June 2023, said that officers in the department routinely resorted to violent and racist practices, “including unjustified deadly force.”
The department “unlawfully discriminates against Black and Native American people when enforcing the law,” the report said.
The city of Minneapolis, in the midwestern state of Minnesota, also settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Floyd family, agreeing to pay his relatives $27 million.
Chuavin appealed his second-degree murder conviction, which was rejected by the US Supreme Court earlier this month.
“At the end of the day, the whole trial, including sentencing, was a sham,” he said from prison in a recent documentary.
After the murder, colleagues later sketched a portrait of Chauvin as a silent, rigid workaholic who often patrolled the city’s more difficult neighborhoods.
His commitment to the job earned him four medals throughout his career. But he also racked up 22 internal complaints and investigations, according to a public record scrubbed of all details.
Only one of these numerous complaints, filed by a white woman whom he had violently pulled from her car in 2007 for speeding, in front of her crying infant, was followed by a letter of reprimand.