Derek Chauvin is being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day in a maximum security prison in Minnesota as he awaits sentencing for the murder of George Floyd.

The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted Tuesday of second- and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, during an arrest attempt. Chauvin could face decades behind bars.

After the verdicts were read, Chauvin was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs and sent to Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights, which is the state’s only maximum security prison. It is about 25 miles east of Minneapolis.

Chauvin, 45, is expected to remain there at least through his sentencing, which is scheduled for June 16, The New York Times reported. He will be alone in a cell in the restricted housing wing, called the Administrative Control Unit (ACU), all day except for one hour for exercise. 

“The ACU is the state’s most secure unit,” Sarah Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, told HuffPost in an email. “Administrative segregation is used when someone’s presence in the general population is a safety concern. It’s unknown how long he will be there.”

Of the prison’s 349 inmates, 41 of them are in the ACU, Fitzgerald said.

Prison staff observe each ACU prisoner every 30 minutes, according to Fitzgerald. A mental health professional must interview and prepare a report on everyone held in the ACU for more than 30 days, according to the corrections department website.

The small cells contain a bench with a mattress pad, a shower stall and a combination toilet and sink. In certain cases, ACU inmates are allowed to have newspapers, books and radios, according to the corrections department’s website.

Meals are being delivered to Chauvin’s cell, Fitzgerald said.


Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes last spring as the 46-year-old Black man repeatedly stated that he couldn’t breathe. Bystanders urged Chauvin to get off of Floyd, but Chauvin didn’t move until paramedics arrived on the scene, when Floyd had already ceased breathing.

Floyd’s death sparked massive, months-long protests across the country and an international reckoning on racial injustice.

After a weeks-long trial that included testimony from eyewitnesses, Minneapolis police officers and medical experts, the jury entered deliberations on Monday. The 12 jurors returned verdicts Tuesday after about 10 hours of deliberating, finding Chauvin guilty of all three charges.

Under Minnesota law, second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, third-degree murder carries a maximum of 25 years and second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum of 10 years. In this case, because the charges are for the same crime, it’s likely the years would be served concurrently, resulting in a potential maximum sentence for Chauvin of 40 years behind bars.

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