Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer who is now charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, has been moved to a second detention facility in the same day.
As we reported before, Chauvin had previously been held at the Ramsey County Jail after being taken into custody in Minnesota.
On Sunday afternoon, he was transferred to the Hennepin County Jail. Just hours later, he was moved to a department of corrections facility in Oak Park Heights, WCCO reported.
During a press conference Sunday night, Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said that Chauvin has been moved partially due to COVID-19 concerns, especially considering the number of protesters who had already been arrested on Sunday.
Corrections facilities have been under criticism for becoming COVID-19 hotspots, as dozens of inmates at Moose Lake, Willow River, and St. Cloud facilities tested positive for the disease at the beginning of May, WCCO reported.
Chauvin was seen in a now viral Facebook video holding his knee down on Floyd’s neck for minutes on end as Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.” The criminal complaint against him claims he held him down on the neck for more than 8 minutes.
State prosecutors charged Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend 12 1/2 years for a conviction on the murder count and four years on the manslaughter charge.
Judges have some discretion. The guidelines allow a range of nearly 11 years to 15 years for third-degree murder and less than 3 1/2 years to nearly five years for manslaughter, but the system is designed to result in close to the recommended sentence most of the time.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Floyd’s family, called Sunday for the charges against Chauvin to be upgraded 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,” Crump, a longtime civil rights attorney, told “Face the Nation.”
Chauvin’s first court appearance is scheduled for June 8. Meanwhile, the lawyer for Chauvin’s wife, Kellie Chauvin, says she has filed for divorce.
“She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy,” the Sekula Law Offices, PLLC said in a statement on behalf of Kellie Chauvin and her family.