FACT CHECK: Was Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Killed In Prison?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was killed in prison.

Verdict: False

Chauvin is alive, according to his attorney. The rumor about him being killed in prison originated on a satire website.

Fact Check:

Social media users have been sharing a screen grab of an article, titled “Police Officer Who Murdered George Floyd Killed In Prison,” that was published Dec. 19 on the website Redcountry. The article alleges that Chauvin, a former cop charged in George Floyd’s death, was killed in prison by other inmates and bequeathed half of his estate to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of Floyd, a black man who died in May after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe, video of the incident shows. Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality, according to CNN.

The former Minneapolis police officer was not recently killed in prison, contrary to the Facebook image and article’s claims. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Former Minneapolis Cop Derek Chauvin Wearing A ‘Make Whites Great Again’ Hat?)

Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday in an email that Chauvin “is alive,” noting that his client was “previously bailed out of jail pursuant to the court’s order.” Chauvin was released from jail in October on a $1 million non-cash bond, USA Today reported.

The Redcountry article appears to lift word-for-word from a satirical article published at least several months earlier on Conservative Tears, a satirical news website that disclaims “everything on this website is fiction” on its “about us” page. Some websites posted the Conservative Tears article about Chauvin dying on their websites without clearly disclaiming the satirical origins, a common way misinformation spreads online.

Chauvin’s trial for the charges related to Floyd’s death is scheduled to take place in 2021, according to ABC affiliate KSTP.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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