The claim: Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd, was found dead in jail
A number of posts on social media claim that Derek Chauvin, a former police officer charged in the slaying of George Floyd in May, was killed in prison. Each post cites an article by the website Conservative Tears, headlined “Police Officer Who Murdered George Floyd Killed in Prison.”
“Well well well he didn’t last long,” reads one caption to the article, posted to Facebook.
“He was apparently killed by fellow inmates,” read another caption, written by a Facebook page adjacent to the satirical site “America’s Last Line of Defense.”
Commenters were quick to question the veracity of the article’s headline, some more inclined to believe it was true than others.
“This needs to be fact-checked! He is out on bond,” one commenter wrote.
“If this is true it’s scary on many levels,” another wrote.
Chauvin ‘alive and well,’ lawyer says
While the headline offers no hint of humor, the article by the website Conservative Tears is satirical. After pronouncing Chauvin supposedly dead, killed by fellow inmates, the article goes on to claim that Chauvin left “half of his estate” — comprised of $34 and a countertop kitchen appliance — to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
“He was so excited about Trump’s win that he updated his will right after Trump’s election in 2016 to include that bequest,” the article jokingly claims.
The website Conservative Tears is a spinoff site of the larger satirical brand “America’s Last Line of Defense.” The tag line for Conservative Tears’ website is “death hoaxes for your thoughts and prayers.”
Christopher Blair, a spokesperson for America’s Last Line of Defense, told USA TODAY that the story “conforms to our prime directive, which is that everything we publish is identifiable as absolutely ridiculous.”
And Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, told USA TODAY that Chauvin is “alive and well.”
Chauvin, a white man, was charged with killing George Floyd, who was Black, after pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Two minutes and 53 seconds of that time was after Floyd was unresponsive, court records said. His slaying, which was captured on video, set off worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
The ex-police officer was arrested on May 29, four days after Floyd died, but was released from jail on a $1 million non-cash bond in early October. He’s charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Our rating: False
We rate the claim that Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer who killed George Floyd in May, was killed in prison as FALSE. The claim originated from a satirical website that creates “death hoaxes,” and Chauvin’s lawyer said he is “alive and well.”
Our fact-check sources:
Conservative Tears (satire), Aug. 19, Police Officer Who Murdered George Floyd Killed in Prison
Email correspondence with Eric Nelson, Derek Chauvin’s lawyer
Snopes, May 31, Did Derek Chauvin Commit Suicide in Prison?
PolitiFact, June 1, Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin did not die in jail
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Derek Chauvin ‘alive and well,’ lawyer says