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.
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.
Other DetailsTerrence 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.”
“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.
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.”