Derek Chauvin’s Family Has Received No Updates After He Was Stabbed: Lawyer

Official reveals former Minneapolis officer now ‘in stable condition’ after incident.
Derek Chauvin’s Family Has Received No Updates After He Was Stabbed: Lawyer
In this image taken from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin (R) accompanied by defense attorney Eric Nelson, addresses the court as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over Chauvin's sentencing at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 25, 2021. (Court TV via AP, Pool)
Jack Phillips
11/26/2023
Updated:
11/26/2023
0:00

An attorney for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in the 2020 death of George Floyd, said Saturday that federal prison officials did not inform his family after he was stabbed in prison.

The lawyer, Gregory M. Erickson, slammed the lack of transparency by the Federal Bureau of Prisons a day after his client was stabbed on Friday by another inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, a prison that has been plagued by security lapses and staffing shortages.

There were reports indicating that Mr. Chauvin was seriously injured. He is expected to survive the incident and is now “in stable condition,” said the Minneapolis police chief, Brian O'Hara, in a statement to local media outlets on Saturday, although he obtained that information from “federal law enforcement partners” overseeing the Arizona prison.

A spokesperson for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told The Associated Press that his office “heard” that Mr. Chauvin “is expected to survive” the stabbing.

But Mr. Erickson said that the Chauvin family has obtained little information about the attack from federal officials. His family has been forced to assume he is in stable condition, based only on news accounts, and has been contacting the prison repeatedly seeking updates but has been provided with no information.

“As an outsider, I view this lack of communication with his attorneys and family members as completely outrageous,” Mr. Erickson told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement. “It appears to be indicative of a poorly run facility and indicates how Derek’s assault was allowed to happen.”

The Epoch Times has contacted the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for a request for comment on Sunday.

“How the family members who are in charge of Derek’s decisions regarding his 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,” Mr. Erickson said, referring to the prison.

His statement added that the “media has been provided more information than Derek’s attorneys or immediate family,” adding, “I would like you all to imagine how you would feel if this was your son, brother, or father who was stabbed and forced to suffer alone, his location concealed from you. This is completely unacceptable.”

Other Details

Terrence Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, told The Associated Press 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.

“I’m not going to give my energy towards anything that happens within those four walls—because my energy went towards getting him in those four walls,” Mr. Floyd said without elaborating. “Whatever happens in those four walls, I don’t really have any feelings about it.”

Mr. Chauvin, 47, was sent to FCI Tucson from a maximum-security Minnesota state prison in August 2022 to simultaneously serve a 21-year federal sentence in a civil rights case and a 22-and-a-half-year state sentence for second-degree murder.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Mr. Chauvin’s appeal of his murder conviction. Separately, the former officer is making a bid to overturn his federal guilty plea, claiming new evidence shows he didn’t cause Mr. Floyd’s death.

In court papers filed to a federal court earlier in November, he argued that a Kansas doctor, Dr. William Schaetzel, told him that he believed Mr. Floyd died from complications of a tumor called paraganglioma that can cause a fatal amount of adrenaline. He also argued that Mr. Chauvin’s actions didn’t cause his death, according to the court papers.

“I can’t go to my grave with what I know,” Dr. Schaetzel told media outlets earlier this month.  “I just want the truth.”

Before the Supreme Court denied his petition, Mr. Chauvin argued that Minnesota courts denied his right to a fair trial by keeping the case in the state. The court did not explain its decision not to take up his case.

“Mr. Chauvin’s case shows the profound difficulties trial courts have to ensure a criminal defendant’s right to an impartial jury consistently when extreme cases arise,” his lawyers told the top U.S. court earlier this year. Jurors in his case also had “a vested interest in finding Mr. Chauvin guilty in order to avoid further rioting in the community in which they lived and the possible threat of physical harm to them or their families,” they argued.

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin (C) is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson (L), looks on after the verdicts were read at Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, on April 20, 2021. (Court TV via AP)
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin (C) is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson (L), looks on after the verdicts were read at Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, on April 20, 2021. (Court TV via AP)

His attorneys asked the Supreme Court to answer whether Mr. Chauvin had a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“The error of failing to change venue without consideration of presumed bias is compounded by evidence of juror stereotyping of police officers and animus to Mr. Chauvin,” his petition continued. “The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision not to hold a hearing to inquire about the juror’s acts or actions, or influence on the jury during deliberations.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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