crime and punishment

Derek Chauvin moved to maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota

Derek Chauvin (©Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Derek Chauvin (©Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, of Oakdale, Minnesota, United States was arrested on May 29, 2020 and detained at Ramsey County Jail in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He was charged in connection with the death of George Floyd.

On May 31, 2020, Chauvin was transferred to the Hennepin County Jail in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The former Minneapolis Police Department officer was later on released to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, a maximum-security prison that can incarcerate up to 473 inmates.

It was Hennepin County sheriff David Hutchinson who requested the transfer, KSTP-TV quoted Department of Corrections commissioner Paul Schnell as saying. This kind of inmate transfer is uncommon and it was the same thing that happened when Chauvin’s fellow former Minneapolis Police Department officer Mohamed Noor was taken into custody in connection with the killing of Justine Damond, Schnell added.

Opened in 1982, the Minnesota Correctional Facility is the only Level Five maximum security facility in Minnesota. Along with a modern medical infirmary, it has a mental health unit for adult male inmates with severe mental health needs.

 

On May 25, 2020, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during a fatal arrest. The latter died that day while the former was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department the next day along with his colleagues Thomas K. Lane, 37, Tou Thao, 34, and J. Alexander Kueng, 26, who participated in the encounter.

Chauvin is facing third-degree murder and manslaughter charges and a bail set for $500,000. Meanwhile, Lane, Thao and Kueng have yet to be charged.

Also on May 31, 2020, Benjamin Crump appeared on the CBS program “Face the Nation” and commented on the charges against Chauvin. The lawyer representing the family of Floyd said “They had to overlap and so that is going to be an interesting aspect to this case and hopefully upgrading these charges to first-degree murder because we believe he knew who George Floyd was.”

When Chauvin was working for the Minneapolis Police Department, he worked as a real estate agent and club bouncer in his off hours. He once worked overlapping security shifts with Floyd at the same nightclub, the El Nuevo Rodeo club in Minneapolis.

“I wouldn’t characterize them as knowing each other,” El Nuevo Rodeo club owner Maya Santamaria said of Chauvin and Floyd in an interview with CNN. “We did all work together at the club at different points of time, certainly on Tuesday nights on and off. We were all working on the same team.”

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