Derek Chauvin's transformation from trim cop to bloated prisoner shocks viewers
Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year, was sentenced on June 25 to 22 and half years in prison. Earlier in April, a jury found him guilty on all the counts he faced over Floyd's death. Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
While there has been much talk about the severity of the sentence -- or lack of it -- Chauvin’s physical appearance on Friday was also somewhat shocking. He looked pale and drawn, possibly because of the stress. But there was more. The Daily Mail noted that the ex-cop has “significantly aged since” he murdered Floyd on May 25, 2020.
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At the time of Floyd's murder, Chauvin reportedly weighed just 140lbs. In a mugshot taken on June 5, 202, Chauvin appeared to be in good physical condition. But Friday saw a man who only somewhat resembled images of him from his infamous video or his prison mugshot.
His once-dark brown hair had gone completely gray. It also seemed he had put on a noticeable amount of weight while in jail. Chauvin's diet, exercise, and grooming regime have not been publicly documented, and little is known about how he spends his days behind bars. But it is more than likely that he did not get much time to work out.
Chauvin was held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day in Minnesota’s only maximum-security prison after he was convicted. In the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, Chauvin has been placed in an isolated wing of the prison because of fears for his safety, said Sarah Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the state prison system.
The New York Times reported that at the correctional facility, the cells are small and contain nothing more than a bench with a mattress pad, a combination toilet and sink, and a tiny shower. Prisoners are allowed to bring in necessities like clothing, toothpaste and soap, as well as a pen and paper.
While Judge Peter Cahill handed down the sentence of 22.5 years -- the longest an officer has ever received for unlawful use of deadly force -- and granted Chauvin 199 days already served, Chauvin will likely serve just 15 years and could be released on good behavior once he's eligible for parole.
“This is based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd,” Judge Cahill told the disgraced former cop. “I'm not basing my sentencing on public opinion, I'm not basing it on any attempt to send any messages.”
Chauvin will remain in the same restricted housing unit separated from the general population at Oak Park Heights "for the time being," Fitzgerald said. "His ultimate placement is undetermined, but his safety will be our predominate concern when determining final placement," Fitzgerald said, adding Chauvin has been on administrative segregation status for his "general safety."