Federal prosecutors said on Friday that Derek Chauvin was stabbed 22 times while incarcerated by a former gang leader and former FBI informant who claimed to have targeted the former Minneapolis police officer due to his reputation for murdering George Floyd.
A week after the assault on Nov. 24 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, John Turscak was charged with attempted murder. Prosecutors alleged that he threatened to kill Chauvin if the jail staff had not acted so swiftly.
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“Derek Chauvin Attacker’s Past, Motives, and Legal Proceedings: Insider Details”
Because Chauvin is a well-known prisoner, Turscak, who is serving a 30-year term for crimes committed while a member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, told investigators he considered attacking him for a month, but he denied planning to murder him, according to the prosecution.Court documents did not indicate a counsel for Turscak. Turscak has acted as his own attorney in many court cases while incarcerated. He was transferred to a nearby federal prison in Tucson following the stabbing, and according to prisoner records, he was still there as of Friday.
Messages were left for Chauvin’s attorneys requesting an explanation. A Facebook message was sent to his mother Carolyn Runge Pawlenty, but she did not reply right away.Pawlenty added in a post earlier on Friday that while jail authorities had informed her that Chauvin’s health was stable, they had not provided any more information regarding the assault or his injuries. According to the Bureau of Prisons, it informed everyone Chauvin requested to be informed of changes.
Turscak is charged with assaulting Chauvin on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, at 12:30 p.m. with a homemade knife in the prison law library. Turscak was subdued by correctional staff using pepper spray, according to the prosecution. According to the Bureau of Prisons, staff members carried out “life-saving measures.” For medical attention, Chauvin was brought to a hospital.
“Chauvin Attacker’s Motive Revealed Amid Bureau of Prisons Scrutiny”
Turscak claimed to FBI agents during his post-attack interview that he attacked Chauvin on Black Friday to symbolize the Black Lives Matter movement—which gained traction after Floyd’s murder in 2020—and the Mexican Mafia’s “Black Hand” symbol, according to the prosecution.The stabbing of Chauvin coincides with heightened scrutiny of the federal Bureau of Prisons in the wake of rich businessman Jeffrey Epstein’s jail suicide in 2019 and the beating murder of James “Whitey” Bulger in 2018.
In the previous six months, there have been three incidents involving prominent federal prison inmates, including the attack on Chauvin. The “Unabomber,” Ted Kaczynski, committed himself in a federal medical facility in June, and disgraced former sports physician Larry Nassar was stabbed in July at a federal jail in Florida.Deep, previously unknown faults in the Justice Department’s main law enforcement department, the Bureau of Prisons, which employs over 30,000 people, houses 158,000 prisoners, and has an annual budget of over $8 billion, have been discovered by an Associated Press investigation that is still ongoing.
Numerous escapes, chronic violence, fatalities, widespread sexual abuse and other criminal behavior by staff, and acute staffing shortages that have impeded responding to crises, such as prisoner assaults and suicides, have all been reported by the AP.In 1997, he turned informant for the FBI, giving details on the gang and tapes of his talks with its affiliates and members. One deadly incident inside a federal jail in Texas in 2022 featured members of the Mexican Mafia, a well-known prison organization in the United States.
In August 2022, Chauvin, then 47 years old, was transferred from a maximum-security Minnesota state prison to FCI Tucson in order to serve a 22½-year state term for second-degree murder.Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney at the time, had argued that his client should be kept apart from the general public and other prisoners because he was sure that he would be targeted. Nelson stated in court filings from the previous year that Chauvin was mostly detained in solitary confinement in Minnesota, “largely for his own protection.”
“Chauvin’s Murder Conviction Appeal Denied: Floyd’s Tragic Incident”
The United States Supreme Court denied Chauvin’s appeal of his murder conviction last month. On May 25, 2020, Floyd, a Black man, passed away after Chauvin, a White man, pushed a knee on his neck for nine and a half minutes as they were standing outside a convenience shop. Floyd was thought to be attempting to pass a fake $20 note.
Floyd could be heard saying, “I can’t breathe,” in fading voice on bystander footage. His passing sparked protests throughout the globe, some of which became violent, and compelled a national conversation about racism and police violence.Due to their involvement in Floyd’s demise, three more former cops who were present at the scene were given lighter state and federal terms.”