Derek Chauvin will not be moved to St Cloud, will stay at maximum-security Oak Park Heights prison
Following the sentencing of former Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin, speculation has been rife about where he is to be held to carry out the 22.5-year prison sentence. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April for killing George Floyd a year ago. A video captured of Floyd's arrest that ultimately resulted in his death saw Chauvin pressing his knee on the Black man's neck for over nine minutes, thus sparking worldwide outrage in the form of the Black Lives Matter movement.
With intense media backlash and public anger against the disgraced officer, his safety in the Minnesota Correctional Facility was under doubt. After his verdict, Chauvin was also put on suicide watch and kept separately out of fear that he may be murdered. His stay in prison post-sentencing is seeing the same tight security, as it is now being reported that Chauvin will remain at the prison's Oak Park Heights facility, instead of the regular lower-security St Cloud facility where male inmates are typically taken to.
According to Judge Peter Cahill's June 25 sentencing order, Chauvin was to be sent to the Minnesota Correctional Facility at St Cloud. The former officer has been detained at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park Heights ever since his verdict, with reports claiming he has been living apart from the general population of the prison in the Administrative Control Unit.
Insider reported that after a sentencing hearing in Minnesota, inmates are taken to the St Cloud facility to be booked and assessed. This facility, with a lower-security detail, is where inmates' photos and fingerprints are taken and an evaluation is done. Following the process, inmates are assigned to a more permanent accommodation. But that won't be the case for Chauvin, who prison spokespersons confirmed to the outlet, will remain in the segregation unit of the maximum-security Oak Heights facility "for the time being".
The outlet reported that according to DOC spokespersons, since Chauvin was already being held at the facility, he won't have to go through the booking and assessment process. "He was at Oak Park Heights for his safety pre-sentencing," the spokesperson said. "Since he was already at Oak Park Heights and was going to stay there, it would have not made sense to bring him up to St Cloud."
Chauvin will remain at the 341-inmate packed Oak Park Heights facility where below 40 per cent of inmates are White, according to the prison's data. Of the inmates, 276 are serving sentences for homicide, the outlet added. Chauvin is already serving a sentence higher than the average sentence of 12.5 years for first-time offenders charged with the same crime. Cahill noted aggravating factors contributed to increasing the sentence, but since Minnesota inmates must serve a minimum of two-thirds of their total sentence, Chauvin is likely to get out on parole in 15 years. He has also been banned from possessing firearms and ammunition for the rest of his life.