John Turscak, Inmate Who Stabbed Derek Chauvin 22 Times, Charged With Attempted Murder

A federal inmate was handed attempted murder charges on Friday for allegedly stabbing Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd in 2020, approximately 22 times.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, attempted murder and assault with intent to commit murder violations each lead to a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged that John Turscak, 52, assaulted Chauvin with a makeshift knife in the law library at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona.

The Associated Press reported that Turscak told officers he would have killed Chauvin if they had not intervened. He later reportedly informed the FBI that he had been planning for a month to attack Chauvin but claimed he did not intend to kill him.

The inmate explained that he chose the date of Black Friday as an acknowledgement of Black Lives Matter and the “Black Hand” symbol connected to the Mexican Mafia group.

Floyd, who was Black, died after Chauvin, who is white, pinned his neck down to the street with his knee for over nine minutes. Video of Floyd saying, “I can’t breathe” went viral and sparked protests against police brutality and institutional racism around the world.

Chauvin was imprisoned in FCI Tucson in August 2022 to serve a 21-year sentence for breaking Floyd’s civil rights and a 22-and-a-half-year sentence for second-degree murder. After his lawyer, Eric Nelson, stated the former police officer should be kept away from other inmates to prevent potential violence, Chauvin was kept in solitary confinement.

Another attorney, Greg Erickson, told WCCO on Friday that the Chauvin family was “extremely disappointed they allowed this to happen” and that it was “not shocking” that Chauvin would be targeted. Erickson stated that FCI Tucson should have done more to avert an attack.

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