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George Floyd death: Derek Chauvin moved to secure prison

Fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was moved to one of the most secure prisons in the US Sunday night, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.

In a highly unusual move, Chauvin, who is facing a murder charge in the death of George Floyd, was transferred late Sunday to Oak Park Heights Prison – Minnesota’s only Level Five maximum security facility. Chauvin was previously at Ramsey County Adult Detention Center where he was on suicide watch. 

The 407-inmate prison boasts of never having had an escape and is also regarded as one of the country’s safest, having only had one homicide in its history. Located on the border with Wisconsin, between the cities of Bayport and Stillwater, it accepts some of America’s most hated and high-risk inmates.

Chauvin was due to appear in court on Monday but with Minneapolis still gripped by unrest the appearance was pushed back until June 8.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

Derek Chauvin has been moved to Oak Park Heights Prison in Minnesota (pictured_

Derek Chauvin has been moved to Oak Park Heights Prison in Minnesota (pictured_ 

This is the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center and adjoining adult detention center where disgraced former cop Derek Chauvin was being held before being transferred

This is the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center and adjoining adult detention center where disgraced former cop Derek Chauvin was being held before being transferred 

 According to recent data released by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, the Oak Park Heights Prison currently houses 297 murderers, 69 sexual predators and eight kidnappers.

Some 46 percent of the prison population is black.

The 16-acre, rural prison is carved into the side of a hill and has been featured on the National Geographic show America’s Hardest Prisons.

Chauvin was on suicide watch at Ramsey County Adult Detention Center

Chauvin was on suicide watch at Ramsey County Adult Detention Center

Cells are 7 by 10 feet with cement slab bed and toilets and sink made of steel so they can’t be broken off to use as weapons.

The reinforced windows are said to be so secure that it would take 12,000 hacksaw blades to cut though the steel bars.

Chauvin had spent the weekend locked in solitary confinement in a heavily fortified Minnesota jail guarded by police marksmen and barbed wire barriers, DailyMail.com can reveal.

SWAT teams armed with rifles and binoculars kept lookout from the rooftop of the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center while a phalanx of Sheriff’s Deputies stood guard behind hastily erected steel fences.

Chauvin was held there Friday through Sunday because of the carnage unfolding outside jail facilities in Minneapolis. 

Ramsey County deputies took no chances, sealing off the area with concrete bomb-proof barriers and mounting round the clock patrols in case protesters decided to target the jail in downtown Saint Paul.

But despite demonstrators running amok across large swathes of the Twin Cities, the expected onslaught never happened and authorities were able to quietly transfer Chauvin to downtown Minneapolis Sunday afternoon.

Ramsey County Deputies took no chances, sealing off the area with concrete bomb-proof barriers while Chauvin was there

Ramsey County Deputies took no chances, sealing off the area with concrete bomb-proof barriers while Chauvin was there 

Extra defenses are being installed at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center where Chauvin was being held in the adult detention section

Extra defenses are being installed at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center where Chauvin was being held in the adult detention section

George Floyd death: Derek Chauvin moved to secure prison

The facility is located on the border with Wisconsin and accepts some of America’s most hated and high-risk inmates

Uniformed men were on guard at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center

Uniformed men were on guard at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center

Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said Chauvin was moved to prison because of concerns about coronavirus and the huge influx of people being booked into Twin Cities jails on public order offenses. 

‘First and foremost, we have a COVID situation. Second of all, a large number of people could be booked into Hennepin County Jail,’ Schnell said.

Privately though, law enforcement sources told DailyMail.com the move was to ensure Chauvin – now America’s most hated inmate – was not murdered behind bars. 

‘If he was in the general jail population he would probably be dead in two minutes,’ a source told DailyMail.com. ‘This is entirely for security purposes.’ 

Chauvin will be held at the prison until next Monday when authorities face the daunting challenge of keeping his first court appearance in downtown Minneapolis shielded from further unrest. 

TMZ reported that Chauvin has a camera focused on him all day and and cops check on his cell in person every 15 minutes.  

Such checks said to be common in such a high-profile case. 

It has not been revealed whether the 44-year-old ex-cop, charged with the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of unarmed Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine agonizing minutes, will appear in person or via video link.

Hennepin County has two facilities for adult inmates within Minneapolis but authorities have not released specifics about where he is being housed, stating only that Chauvin is at a ‘public safety facility’.

The disgraced former lawman is yet to post the $50,000 bond needed to get out of jail after bail was set Friday at $500,000.

He has two properties, one in the leafy Oakdale suburb of Saint Paul, the other in Windermere, Florida, worth that amount combined.

However DailyMail.com understands the homes are jointly owned by his beauty pageant winner wife Kellie, 45, who would likely resist any attempt to use them as surety after vowing Friday to divorce her husband of ten years.

Concrete barriers and barbed wire fences were erected hastily

Concrete barriers and barbed wire fences were erected hastily

The jail was provided with external barriers in order to provide additional protection

The jail was provided with external barriers in order to provide additional protection

SWAT teams armed with rifles and binoculars kept lookout from the rooftop of the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center

SWAT teams armed with rifles and binoculars kept lookout from the rooftop of the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center

The Minnesota jail was guarded by police marksmen and barbed wire barriers

The Minnesota jail was guarded by police marksmen and barbed wire barriers 

Kellie Chauvin released a statement on behalf of her and her family:  ‘She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy,’ it read. 

On Sunday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says he expects Chauvin to face additional charges. 

‘Let me say that we are very early in this process, very early. It is not uncommon to amend charges. It is not uncommon to add defendants,’ Ellison said Sunday, when asked how satisfied he was with the charges already filed after the incident during an interview with Fox News. 

‘The fact is that the investigation is still going on and it actually, it’s actually in the middle of the investigation, or maybe even the beginning of the middle, he explains.

Deputies stood guard behind hastily erected steel fences with some marksmen on the roof

Deputies stood guard behind hastily erected steel fences with some marksmen on the roof

A deputy is seen on guard as the fence was being erected at the prison

A deputy is seen on guard as the fence was being erected at the prison 

‘And so I don’t want anyone to conclude that these are all the charges that are going be there.’

Footage emerged last Monday of Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on the neck of Floyd until he passed out and later died, sparking outrage over police brutality and setting off the protests across the nation.

According to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer was said to have had his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, with nearly three minutes of the time being after Floyd had become non-responsive. 

Floyd was then taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

George Floyd's (pictured) heartbroken family have called white cop Derek Chauvin to be charged with a more serious crime than third-degree murder

George Floyd’s (pictured) heartbroken family have called white cop Derek Chauvin to be charged with a more serious crime than third-degree murder after their lawyer revealed that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for a staggering eight minutes during the arrest for forgery

Since then, protesters and Floyd’s family have called for the arrests of former officers Kueng, Lane and Thao and for a more serious charge to be brought against Chauvin. 

As the protesting has continued, mayors of several cities and other officials blamed small groups and outsiders for escalating the violence.

Protesters and Floyd’s family continue to call for the arrests of former officers Kueng, Lane and Tou Thao and for a more serious charge to be brought against Chauvin. 

‘We call on authorities to revise the charges [against Chauvin] to reflect the culpability of this officer,’ a statement from the family Friday said. 

‘We fully expect to see the other officers who did nothing to protect the life of George Floyd to be arrested and charged soon.’

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill

He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn't breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn’t breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

The criminal complaint filed against Chauvin Friday also cited the preliminary findings from a Tuesday autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner which saw ‘no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation’.

‘Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease,’ said the complaint from the Hennepin County Attorney.

‘The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.’

The full medical examiner’s report is pending but Floyd’s family have hired the services of former New York medical officer Dr. Michael Baden to perform a second independent autopsy. 

They are unhappy with the findings from the county medical examiner that they claim create an ‘illusion’ of underlying health conditions being responsible for his death.


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