Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murdering George Floyd during a 2020 arrest that set off a wave of protests, was stabbed at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed an inmate at the Tucson prison was stabbed at 12:30 p.m., though the agency’s statement did not identify Chauvin, 47, by name. No other inmates or prison staff were injured, and the situation was quickly contained, according to the people familiar with the situation.
Emergency medical technicians “initiated lifesaving measures” before transporting the inmate to a hospital “for further treatment and evaluation,” bureau officials wrote in a statement. No details were immediately available on his condition, but one of the people with knowledge of the incident said Chauvin survived the attack.
Chauvin was serving a sentence of just over two decades in federal prison after he was convicted of state murder charges and a federal charge of violating the constitutional rights of Floyd. Chauvin’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.
Chauvin, who is white, had knelt on Floyd, who was Black, for 91/2 minutes in May 2020 as Floyd lay handcuffed, face down, on a South Minneapolis street corner. The killing of Floyd, 46, a security guard and former rapper, was captured on video by a teenager, and the footage ricocheted around the world while people were isolating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The killing set off the largest protests of a generation, against police violence and racism, and led to a high-profile, televised trial in which Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder in April 2021. Three other officers who were at the scene where Floyd was killed were also later convicted of violating Floyd’s rights.
Chauvin had sought to appeal his conviction, but as recently as this week, the Supreme Court had rejected his efforts.
Part of Chauvin’s plea deal with prosecutors in his federal case was that he would be allowed to serve his sentence in a federal prison, which is generally considered safer than a state prison.
But there have been several other high-profile attacks on federal prisoners in recent years, including the stabbing earlier this year of Larry Nassar, who had been convicted of sexually abusing young gymnasts, and the killing in 2018 of James “Whitey” Bulger, the mobster who was murdered in a West Virginia prison.
The Associated Press was the first to report the stabbing of Chauvin.
The Bureau of Prisons has been grappling with a widespread shortage of corrections officers and has relied on teachers, case managers, counselors, facilities workers and secretaries to fill shifts.
About 21% of the 20,446 positions for corrections officers funded by Congress – 4,293 guards – were unfilled in September 2022, according to a report in March 2023 by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.