A federal inmate was charged with attempted murder on Friday in connection with the stabbing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, prosecutors say.
Federal prosecutors say that Chauvin was stabbed 22 times in the law library at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, according to The Associated Press. He was reportedly stabbed with an improvised knife.
The inmate, John Turscak, 52, allegedly told correctional officers that “he would’ve killed Chauvin had they not responded so quickly,” prosecutors say, according to the AP. He later reportedly told the FBI that he was thinking about assaulting Chavuin for around a month due to him being “a high-profile inmate.” Turscak denied wanting to kill him.
Prosecutors say the day of the attack, which was on Black Friday, had a symbolic connection to the Black Lives Matter movement and the “Black Hand” symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia gang,” according to the AP.
Chauvin was sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson in August 2022 from a maximum-security state prison in Minnesota. He was given a 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, the AP reported. He was also given a 22½-year state sentence for second-degree murder.
George Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pressed on his neck for 9½ minutes on a street by a convenience store in Minneapolis. A bystander recovered video of the incident and of Floyd saying “I can’t breathe.” His death led to protests around the world, the AP said.
Earlier this week, Chauvin’s appeal on his murder conviction was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the AP.
The AP reported that it left messages with Chauvin’s attorneys and the FBI following the attack. They have yet to respond.
Chauvin’s stabbing is the second high-profile attack on a federal prisoner over the past five months. According to the AP, former sports doctor Larry Nasser was stabbed by an inmate last July.