Family Left in Dark: Chauvin’s No-Update Agony Post-Prison Stabbing…

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Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, was stabbed in prison, and his attorney stated on Saturday that the family has been kept in the dark about the incident by federal prison officials.

A day after his client was stabbed by another inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, attorney Gregory M. Erickson criticised the lack of transparency by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

On Friday, an unnamed source told The Associated Press that the stabbing gravely hurt Chauvin. Because they weren’t authorised to speak publicly about the attack, the source talked to the AP on the condition of anonymity. Attorney General of Minnesota Office Spokesman Brian Evans said Saturday, “We have heard that he is expected to survive.”

According to Erickson, the Chauvin family and their lawyers have been unable to get any information from the Bureau of Prisons about the assault. He claimed that the Chauvin family has been left to presume that their loved one is doing well based on reports in the media, despite their repeated requests for updates to which the prison has given them no response.

In a statement to the AP, Erickson said, “As an outsider, I view this lack of communication with his attorneys and family members as completely outrageous.” As to why Derek was assaulted, this “appears to be indicative of a poorly run facility.”

Erickson’s comments echo concerns made for years that federal prison authorities provide little to no information to the loved ones of detained prisoners who are critically injured or ill in federal custody. The Associated Press has previously revealed that as the COVID-19 virus spread through federal prisons across the United States, the Bureau of Prisons broke its internal protocols and failed to notify the families of detainees who were critically ill with the virus.

Legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate last year in response to this problem that would mandate the Justice Department issue guidelines for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and state correctional systems on how to notify inmates’ families in the event of a serious illness, life-threatening injury, or death in prison.

“The fact that the family members who are responsible for making decisions about Derek’s personal medical care and his emergency contact were not informed after his stabbing further indicates the institution’s poor procedures and lack of institutional control,” Erickson said of the prison.

On Saturday night, we reached out to the Bureau of Prisons for comment, but did not receive an instant response.

Prison officials in Arizona have only verified an incident occurred there and stated staff rendered “life-saving measures” before transporting the inmate to the hospital. The victim’s identity and medical condition were withheld by the Bureau of Prisons “for privacy and safety reasons.”

In 2021, a jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, and the prosecutors who tried him were shocked to learn that he had been the victim of assault while in federal custody.

Terrence Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, told the AP on Saturday that he wouldn’t wish for anyone to be stabbed in prison and that he felt numb when he initially learned of the news.

As Terrence Floyd put it, “my energy went towards getting him in those four walls,” so he’s not going to worry about anything that goes on within. Whatever goes on within those walls doesn’t affect me emotionally.

This is the second high-profile assault on a federal inmate in the past five months; Chauvin was stabbed. A fellow inmate at the federal prison in Florida stabbed infamous sports doctor Larry Nassar in July.

To complete both his federal 21-year sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights and his state 2212-year term for second-degree murder, 47-year-old Chauvin was transferred from a maximum-security Minnesota state prison to FCI Tucson in August 2022.

Eric Nelson, another of Chauvin’s solicitors, had argued for keeping him isolated from the main prison population out of fear that he would be attacked. Chauvin was isolated “largely for his own protection,” as Nelson stated in court documents from last year.

Chauvin’s appeal of his murder conviction was denied by the Supreme Court of the United States last week. Separately, Chauvin is mounting a longshot appeal to reverse his federal guilty plea, alleging fresh evidence reveals he didn’t cause Floyd’s death.

Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by a white man named Chauvin on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck for 9 and a half minutes outside a convenience shop where Floyd was thought to have attempted to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.

A bystander filmed Floyd’s fading pleas of “I can’t breathe.” Violence erupted in some places as people protested his killing, which ultimately led to a national reckoning with police violence and racism.

Three other former cops who were at the scene received lower state and federal penalties for their roles in Floyd’s killing.

The federal Bureau of Prisons has come under heightened attention in recent years, especially after the 2019 suicide of wealthy billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide while incarcerated. This is the third high-profile prisoner to be attacked since June; Nassar was stabbed, and “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski committed suicide at a federal medical centre.

In November 2022, a visitor to the low-security prison camp at the federal jail in Tucson was threatened by a prisoner who pulled out a gun. The inmate’s illegal weapon misfired, so nobody got wounded.


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