Unnamed sources told the New York Times that Derek Chauvin, the American police officer whose murder of George Floyd in 2020 sparked significant racial justice demonstrations, was stabbed in prison on Friday. Despite the dying man’s pleas, Chauvin, who is Caucasian, knelt on the neck of the 46-year-old black man on a Minneapolis street for more than nine minutes. Floyd’s cries, “I am unable to breathe,” subsequently served as a rallying cry for the protestors who flooded the streets in the aftermath of the killing.
Chauvin was charged and found guilty of 2nd degree murder, 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter in 2021, and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. The incident was caught on video, helping organize huge protests and a condemnation of racism and policing in the United States and internationally.
A subsequent Justice Dept. probe into the Minneapolis police, the findings of which were published in June 2023, said that officers in the department routinely took to violent and racist practices, “including unjustified deadly force.” The department “unlawfully discriminates against Black and Native American people when enforcing the law,” the report said.
The city of Minneapolis also settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Floyd family, agreeing to pay his relatives $27 million.
Chauvin appealed his 2nd degree murder conviction, which was rejected by the US Supreme Court earlier this month.