George Floyd murder accused Derek Chauvin is on suicide watch in isolated cell, being checked every 15 minutes
His movements in the cell are being monitored by a CCTV camera 24/7. He is also being checked in person by security guards every 15 minutes
SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA: Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer arrested for the alleged murder of George Floyd after a clip of him sitting on the handcuffed victim's neck for eight minutes straight went viral, has apparently been put on suicide watch in his prison cell.
Sources at the Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul, Minnesota, told TMZ that Chauvin is being kept in isolation and being watched constantly. His movements in the cell are being monitored by a CCTV camera 24/7. He is also being checked in person by security guards every 15 minutes. Although the source did not mention that Chauvin was effectively on suicide watch, according to law enforcement experts who spoke to the outlet, these were all classic signs of someone being kept on suicide watch.
The move of keeping Chauvin under a suicide watch protocol does not necessarily mean that the authorities believe that Chauvin is suicidal. They just want to make sure that nothing happens to him while he's in custody and 15-minute checks were standard for that section of the jail. Chauvin is allowed to go out of his cell only for an hour in the day when he can stroll around an enclosed area. The cell that he is staying in has a bed nailed to the floor and a pillow that is sewn to it. He did not have access to anything other than books, pencils, and paper.
The insider said that when he was brought in the afternoon of Friday, May 29, he and didn't make eye contact with anyone upon his arrival. His check-in process began with a naked body search to look for any hidden contraband before being handed a set of jail uniform and sent to a single cell in a special wing of the facility. Such cells are reserved for high profile cases.
Earlier, Floyd's death was reportedly signed off as caused by medical issues after he died on May 25 and it was only after the video went viral that an investigation into Floyd's death was initiated. The video also showed that Floyd had cooperated with the officers at least at the beginning of the encounter. A bystander's video that was shared also shows Floyd pleading with the officers, stating that he is unable to breathe. However, Chauvin continued to ignore Floyd's plea. In fact, even when Floyd stopped moving, Chauvin continued the chokehold with his knee.
The arrest was a result of cops being called to the intersection of Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street on a report of someone trying to use a forged bill at Cup Foods. An employee at Cup Foods reported Floyd to police after confirming that the $20 bill that he had used to pay was counterfeit. Since the news of this fatal arrest spread, Minneapolis has seen widespread protests. Initially, it began as a peaceful demonstration at the site where Floyd was pinned down. However, by Wednesday, May 27, violence had broken out near the 3rd Precinct police station following more than 30 fires, destruction of businesses and looting.