Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was moved to a maximum-security prison on Sunday as he awaits a hearing over the alleged third-degree murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. Chauvin was arrested on Friday and hit with the two controversial charges after he and other officers were recorded killing Floyd on Monday. According to a report by CBS News, Chauvin was moved to a department of corrections facility in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, on Sunday afternoon.
Chauvin has now been moved several times throughout his brief incarceration. The former cop was originally taken to the Ramsey County Jail, but the ongoing demonstrations and unrest in Minneapolis caused authorities to move him to the Henepin County Jail on Sunday afternoon. He was finally moved again a few hours later, ending up at a higher-security detention center. In a press conference at the time, Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said that coronavirus concerns were also a factor in moving Chauvin.
Chauvin was one of the three officers detaining 44-year-old Floyd on Monday, May 25 on suspicion of possessing a counterfeit $20 bill. While others pinned the rest of his body to the concrete, Chauvin knelt with his knee pressed to Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. For about the last three minutes of that time, Floyd was unresponsive and apparently unconscious.
Floyd repeatedly communicated that he could not breathe during the detainment. All four officers on the scene were fired, but only Chauvin was arrested, and not until the end of the week. Even then, many protesters and critics have complained that the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges are too low for Chauvin's actions, and should be revised to at least second-degree murder. On Sunday, the Floyd family's attorney, Benjamin Crump appeared on CBS' Face the Nation, calling for the charges to be raised to first-degree murder. "We think that [Chauvin] had intent, based on not the one minute, two minute, but over eight minutes, almost nine minutes he kept his knee in a man's neck that was begging and pleading for breath," he said.
Many have also speculated that Chauvin was arrested as much for his own safety as for the alleged crimes. With protests around the country sometimes escalating into violent police encounters, many on social media have joked that Chauvin is in a form of "protective custody." Chauvin could face a maximum of 15 years in prison for the current charges against him, though judges have some room for discretion, which could make that less than 11 years with a conviction. He could also be hit with heavy fines.