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George Floyd’s Killer Stabbed 22 Times in Federal Prison in Arizona

On November 24, 2023, Derek Chauvin, 47, the former Minneapolis cop convicted of murdering George Floyd—touching off nationwide protests against police brutality in summer 2020—was stabbed 22 times at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Tucson, Arizona, where he is serving dual state and federal sentences for the crime.

The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) said the stabbing happened around 12:30 p.m. in the prison law library but initially offered no other details. Chauvin was reported in stable condition at a hospital the next day, when fellow prisoner John Turscak, 52, was charged with attempted murder. BOP said Turscak told responding guards he would have killed Chauvin had they not arrived so quickly. But he denied planning to murder the former cop.

Instead he confessed only to thinking about assaulting him for the past month. For motive, Turscak pointed to Chauvin’s notoriety, as well as similarity between the Black Lives Matter logo and the black hand symbol often used by the Mexican Mafia, of which Turscak was a high-ranking member before he was imprisoned on a 2001 racketeering conviction for conspiring to kill a gang rival.

Chauvin was convicted of killing Floyd, 46, after bystander cellphone video captured him kneeling on the out-of-work bouncer’s neck for over nine minutes during a shoplifting arrest on May 25, 2020. Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became the slogan of anti-police protests that then swept the country on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Chauvin’s state sentence was handed down in June 2021, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D), who prosecuted the case, agreed to let him serve it in BOP custody for safety. Running concurrently with that term is a separate 21-year federal sentence handed down in 2022 for violating Floyd’s civil rights. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Chauvin’s most recent appeal to his murder conviction on November 20, 2023. See: Chauvin v. Minnesota, 2023 U.S. LEXIS 4642.

While still active in his gang, Turscak became an FBI informant in 1997. But the feds ended that relationship. He was scheduled for release in 2026, but he has now been moved to the U.S. Penitentiary adjacent to FCI-Tucson to await trial on his new charges.  


Additional sources: AP News, CBS News, Los Angeles Times, New York Times

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