A former FBI informant who is one of Derek Chauvin’s fellow inmates was charged by federal prosecutors Friday with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing Chauvin in the name of Black Lives Matter.
Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer sentenced to 20 years in prison in the highly controversial George Floyd case, was stabbed 22 times at a Tuscon, Arizona, penitentiary library last Friday, requiring prison staff to perform “life-saving” measures on Chauvin. John Turscak, 52, now faces multiple assault charges and inflicting serious bodily injury with an “improvised knife,” Fox News reported.
Turscak allegedly told investigators that he had planned the attack for a month and purposefully chose Black Friday as the date for his assault on Chauvin to symbolize the Black Lives Matter movement. The 52-year-old inmate also allegedly said he would’ve killed the ex-Minneapolis cop if corrections officers hadn’t intervened so quickly.
Turscak was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2001 for committing crimes while working as an FBI informant, according to CBS News. The feds recruited Turscak in 1999 to help them go after members of the Mexican Mafia, which Turscak had admitted to joining in 1990. The FBI informant said he authorized “assaults of individuals for infractions of Mexican Mafia rules” and collected “taxes” from other gangs and drug dealers who wanted protection from the Mexican Mafia as they trafficked narcotics.
According to court documents, Turscak also admitted to murdering a man in 1990 while he was in Folsom Prison and authorized another man’s murder in 1998. Turscak was scheduled for release in 2026, according to the Bureau of Prisons, but he could now face an additional 60 years if he’s sentenced to the maximum punishment from all the new charges.
Following the attack, Chauvin’s attorney, Gregory M. Erickson, and his mother Carolyn Pawlenty were frustrated with the lack of information authorities were providing them about the stabbing and Chauvin’s condition. Pawlenty said authorities told her they did not contact her sooner because they “didn’t want to give her false information and had to get the situation under control.”
Erickson blasted the Bureau of Prisons in a statement following the attack, claiming the law enforcement agency has provided no updates on Chauvin’s condition or current location. Three days after Chauvin was stabbed, his mother was updated by federal authorities about his condition, confirming that Chauvin was in stable condition in a medical facility and “has protection.”
Brandon Drey contributed to this report.