Derek Chauvin Moved From Detention Facility Over Coronavirus Fears as Protesters Fill Up Jails

Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, has been moved to a maximum-security prison for his safety.

Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after a video emerged of him with his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes before he died, was originally at the Ramsey County Jail following his arrest last week.

He was later transferred to the Hennepin County Jail, but has now been moved to a department of corrections facility in Oak Park Heights.

In a press conference, Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said Chauvin had been moved because of concerns about the coronavirus, as several prisons in Minnesota have seen an outbreak of the virus resulting in dozens of inmates and staff members testing positive.

Schnell said Chauvin was also moved because authorities are expecting a high number of people who have been arrested at the protests which have broken out in the city over Floyd's death to be taken to Hennepin County Jail after further disorder and violence on Sunday.

"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.

"And as a result of that, [Hennepin County Sheriff David] Hutchinson had made the request and the DOC [Minnesota Department of Corrections] accommodated that request. That transfer has been made, and he is safe and secure in the prison in Oak Park Heights."

Schnell said such a move is common and also happened when former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor was taken into custody after being charged with third degree murder and second degree manslaughter in connection to the killing of Justine Damond.

According to the DOC, the Oak Parks Heights facility has "the highest custody level in the Minnesota DOC system." The majority of inmates housed there are "maximum and close custody."

Chauvin was fired alongside three other Minneapolis police officers after video showing Floyd's final moments went viral. None of the other three officers have been arrested in connection to the investigation.

Floyd's death has sparked major outrage, with protests across the U.S and in cities such as Paris and London.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that he has asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to lead any prosecutions connected to Floyd's death.

"There have been recent developments in the facts of the case where the help and expertise of the Attorney General would be valuable," Freeman said.

The date of Chauvin's first court appearance to face the charges has not yet been set.

Derek Chauvin
In this handout provided by Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a mugshot after being charged with third degree murder. Ramsey County Sheriff's Office