The white police officer arrested and charged with the murder of George Floyd is allegedly on effective suicide watch and being checked in on around the clock.
TMZ reported Saturday that Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, has a camera focused on him all day and and cops check on his cell in person ever 15 minutes.
It adds that Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday, is under constant surveillance and is in isolation in Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He remains in a single cell in a part of the facility set aside for high-profile cases.
Former cop Derek Chauvin arrested for the murder of George Floyd on Friday is reported to be on suicide watch in his single cell in Ramsey County Jail and under constant surveillance
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
TMZ adds that a source says that the former police officer didn’t make eye contact with anyone when he was brought into the jail on Friday and that he was subject to an unclothed body search.
He was then placed in a prison uniform and led to his cell.
Checks on a cell ever 15 minutes are said to be common in such a high-profile case, TMZ’s source said, but it is not confirmed if there is a threat to Chauvin’s life.
Chauvin is reported to have 23 hours in his cell a day with one hour for recreation. He also has access to books, pencils and paper.
Footage emerged Monday of white cop Chauvin kneeling on the neck of black man Floyd for more than eight minutes until he passed out and later died, sparking outrage over police brutality and seeing protests escalate across the nation.
Chauvin was taken into custody on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. His bail was set for $500,000.
The arrest followed days of nationwide protests and riots demanding his arrest, after he was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck while arresting him for allegedly trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli.
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.
The Ramsey County Law Enforcement Centre and adjoining adult detention centre where disgraced former cop Derek Chauvin is being held for the murder of George Floyd
On Thursday evening it was revealed Floyd had actually worked with Chauvin as security guards at the El Nuevo Rodeo club, the club owner confirmed.
‘Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open,’ Maya Santamaria told KSTP-TV.
Three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest remain uncharged but were also fired from their jobs Tuesday.
Protesters and Floyd’s family continue to call for the arrests of former officers J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao and for a more serious charge to be brought against Chauvin.
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
‘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.’
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.