Derek Chauvin, the US police officer whose murder of George Floyd sparked massive racial justice protests in 2020, was stabbed in prison on Friday, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

Chauvin knelt on the 46-year-old black man’s neck for more than nine minutes on a Minneapolis street, despite the dying man’s pleas. Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe” were a rallying call for demonstrators domestically and abroad who took to the streets in the killing’s aftermath.

The US Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed an assault to AFP without naming the person wounded.

“An incarcerated individual was assaulted at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Tucson,” in the southwestern state of Arizona, it said in a statement.

“Responding employees initiated life-saving measures for one incarcerated individual,” the statement said, adding that the wounded individual was sent to a local hospital “for further treatment and evaluation.”

Chauvin survived the attack, according to a New York Times source.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in 2021 and was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.

The incident was caught on video, providing a drastically different version of events than the initial police news release, which simply stated, “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”

A Justice Department probe into the Minneapolis police, the findings of which were published in June 2023, stated that officers in the department routinely resorted to violent and racist practices, “including unjustified deadly force.”

The city of Minneapolis, in the midwestern state of Minnesota, also settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Floyd family, agreeing to pay his relatives $27 million.

With AFP