Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been released from a hospital after being stabbed by another inmate 22 times while serving out his sentence at a federal prison in Arizona.
In a statement obtained by KSTP-TV, Chauvin’s attorney said his client’s family members have “confirmed that his medical condition has improved to the extent that he has been removed from the trauma care facility at a local Tucson hospital and returned to prison custody for his follow up care.”
Authorities said Chauvin was stabbed Nov. 24 by John Turscak, a former gang leader and FBI informant serving a 30-year sentence for crimes he committed as a member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, The Associated Press reported.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 24, Turscak attacked Chauvin with an improvised knife in the law library at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, prosecutors said. He told authorities he would have killed Chauvin if they hadn’t responded as quickly as they did but later denied that he wanted to kill the former officer.
In an interview with FBI agents, Turscak said he had been thinking about attacking Chauvin for about a month before the stabbing because of his high profile. He said that his decision to attack on Black Friday “was symbolic with the Black Lives Matter Movement and the ‘Black Hand’ symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia criminal organization,” authorities said.
Chauvin has been jailed in Tucson since August 2022 and is serving concurrent sentences of more than 20 years each for murdering George Floyd in 2020 and for violating the 46-year-old’s civil rights, MPR News reported.
Chauvin’s attorney said that after the stabbing, his family remained “very concerned about the facility’s capacity to protect Derek from further harm,” the Star Tribune reported.
“They remain unassured that any changes have been made to the faulty procedures that allowed Derek’s attack to occur in the first place,” attorney George Erickson said.
He added that “it remains a mystery how the perpetrator was able to obtain and possess dangerous materials that were able to be formed into an improvised knife, and how a guard was unable to reach and apprehend the perpetrator until Derek had been stabbed 22 times,” according to the Star Tribune.
In 2021, a jury convicted Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. The 46-year-old, who was Black, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pressed a knee to his neck for more than 9 minutes outside a convenience store in Minneapolis. Bystanders captured video of the encounter, in which Floyd could be heard saying that he couldn’t breathe and calling for his mother, sparking protests against police brutality and racism worldwide.
Three other officers who helped to hold down Floyd and keep the crowd back on May 25, 2020, have also been convicted for their roles in Floyd’s death.