A prison inmate at Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park Heights, the five star maximum security prison where Derek Chauvin is being held, believes the convicted ex-cop is not safe with the general population.
“First of all, he’s a cop. Then he did what he did,” Hannabal Shaddai, 48, who is currently serving a lifetime sentence at the maximum security level prison, told Paradox on a recorded phone call from the facility. “So it’s not safe for him to be here. Best case scenario for him is he’s going to get beat up a lot. I don’t think he’s safe in any prison population.”
Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson did not respond to Paradox’s request for comment. A representative for the Oak Park Heights facility was not able to provide comment.
Shaddai shares the same case manager as Chauvin and speculates the former police officer is only interacting with guards, nurses, and mental health experts. Unlike Shaddai, Chauvin won’t be enjoying the freedoms of the general population as long as he’s held in isolation and on suicide watch with cameras capturing his every move. Shaddai didn’t express any personal plans to seek retribution but speculated that in a facility like Oak Park Heights where violence occurs regularly, Chauvin wouldn’t be safe to be placed in the general population.
“I heard he’s been complaining about people messing with his food,” continued Shaddai. “But there’s a camera in his cell, there’s cameras everywhere, so I don’t think someone would risk their job to do something to his food. Maybe a few correctional officers are sympathetic to him, but man, anybody who’s human is going to be upset about what he did. All he had to do was move his knee a few inches.”
Like most of the other Oak Park Heights inmates, Shaddai has seen the video of Chauvin with his knee pressed against George Floyd’s neck.
“I’m dark skinned so you know, it hits home…For me, that picture of [Chauvin] just sitting on his knee with his hand in his pocket just slowly killing that man, with the Asian guy standing there keeping the crowd back, and another white man and an African-American man sitting on top of him, that whole picture says to me everything in this country,” Shaddai told Paradox. “It says, ‘I’m going to kill one of you motherfuckers in broad daylight with the help of one of your own and ain’t nobody going to do nothing about it.’”
Shaddai previously went by the name Kevin Vashon Wilson, and was sentenced in 1995 for first-degree felony murder and attempted first-degree felony murder. Despite his reaction to the George Floyd video, he thinks Chauvin should be given a path toward forgiveness.
“The dude is abnormal man, we make him out to be a monster. Just like when I went to trial, the victim’s family said I was a monster,” continued Shaddai. “But this is the thing, he didn’t get that way by himself if somebody put this racist stuff in him… We’re quick to call somebody a monster, but society creates the monster. Like me, I’m in here 27 years, trying to do better myself asking, ‘Why did I do these things?’ I’ve wanted to better myself.”