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Derek Chauvin being held in isolation 23-hours-a-day 'for his safety'

Sky News logo Sky News 22/04/2021

Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, is being held in isolation for 23 hours a day in a maximum security prison, authorities have revealed.

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: One of the 'restricted housing units' used. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections © Other One of the 'restricted housing units' used. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections

Prison officers check on Chauvin every 30 minutes, his meals are delivered to his cell and he will be subjected to a mental health check every three months of his incarceration.

a large empty room: Isolation is used when 'someone's presence in the general population is a safety concern'. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections © Other Isolation is used when 'someone's presence in the general population is a safety concern'. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections

This is "for his safety," a Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, a jury unanimously convicted Chauvin of the murder of George Floyd after hearing how he had knelt on the man's neck for over nine minutes during his arrest - continuing after his body went limp.

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The former Minneapolis police officer had denied charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

But after 10-and-a-half hours of deliberations, the jury convicted the 45-year-old on all counts.

Under Minnesota's sentencing guidelines, he faces 12-and-a-half years in prison for his murder conviction as a first-time offender but prosecutors could seek a maximum of 40 years if the judge determined there were "aggravating factors".

a door with a sink and a mirror: Chauvin will receive his meals in his cell. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections © Other Chauvin will receive his meals in his cell. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections

After the hearing, he was led away in handcuffs and taken to the maximum security Oak Park Heights prison.

A spokesperson there said he was given "administrative segregation" status for his safety, and is in the Administrative Control Unit (ACU).

The ACU is the state's most secure unit.

The spokesman added: "Administrative segregation is used when someone's presence in the general population is a safety concern.

"There are 41 people in the ACU and cells are monitored by cameras with corrections officers also doing rounds at least every 30 minutes.

"He'll have on average an hour a day out of his cell for exercise (alone). Meals are delivered to his cell.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Chauvin is led away in handcuffs after being convicted © Reuters Chauvin is led away in handcuffs after being convicted

"He is in a single cell and will not have contact with other incarcerated people."

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: An 'Administrative Control Unit' cell. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections

An 'Administrative Control Unit' cell. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections
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