Derek Chauvin's mother left in dark about son's prison stabbing, 'worried and scared' for his safety
Derek Chauvin's lawyers criticize prison's transparency and failure to protect him. His mother expresses concern and frustration over lack of communication.
Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for killing George Floyd in May 2020, was stabbed by another inmate on Friday at a federal prison in Arizona.
Chauvin's family said they were not informed by any officials about his stabbing, and learned about it from the media. His mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, told Alpha News that she was "worried and scared" about her son's situation, and that she had not slept since hearing the news. She said she had an emergency contact number for the prison, but no one had called her.
"How the hell do these news agencies know and his own mother doesn't even know?" she said.
The Bureau of Prisons said that Chauvin and his attacker were both hospitalized after the incident, and that prison staff had to perform "life-saving measures" on Chauvin. He is now in "stable" condition, according to a spokesperson for the Minnesota attorney general's office, which prosecuted him for Floyd's death.
Chauvin's lawyers also said they had tried to contact the Bureau of Prisons to get more information on his condition, but had not received any response. One of his attorneys, Gregory M. Erickson, criticized the prison for its lack of transparency and poor management. He said that the stabbing showed how the prison had failed to protect Chauvin, and that the failure to notify his family was another sign of the institution's incompetence.
"How the family members who are in charge of Derek's decisions regarding his personal medical care and his emergency contact were not informed after his stabbing further indicates the institution's poor procedures and lack of institutional control," Erickson said in a statement on Saturday.
Chauvin, 47, has been at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Tucson, Ariz., since late 2022.
The Ex-cop's mother said she had visited her son several times at the prison, and that she had to stay strong for him.
"I have to stay strong for Derek as he does for me. There is no stronger love than a mother's love," she expressed to Alpha News.
Chauvin's stabbing came a week after the US Supreme Court rejected his appeal of his second-degree murder conviction. His lawyers had argued that he did not get a fair trial because of the intense media coverage and public pressure on the jury. They had also requested that he be kept away from the general population of the prison, fearing that he would be a target for violence.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the prosecution team against Chauvin, said he was saddened by the stabbing. He said that Chauvin deserved to serve his sentence without fear of retaliation or violence, like any other incarcerated person.
"I am sad to hear that Derek Chauvin was the target of violence," Ellison said.
"He was duly convicted of his crimes and, like any incarcerated individual, he should be able to serve his sentence without fear of retaliation or violence."