Former Coworker at Nightclub Where George Floyd and Derek Chauvin Worked Security: 'They Bumped Heads' UPDATE: He Changes Story

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Floyd was arrested on a forgery warrant but died after an officer placed his knee on his neck


UPDATE: June 11, 2020

Note: David Pinney, a co-worker the club where George Floyd and Derek Chauvin were employed, is now saying he had mistaken Floyd for another unnamed African-American employee.


He had previously told CBS the two had “bumped heads” and that “not only did they know each other, but they had a history of friction.”

CBS’ update says:

On Wednesday, Pinney told CBS News in an email he had confused Floyd with someone else: “There has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker,” he wrote.

The club’s former owner, Maya Santamaria, had connected Pinney with CBS News. “She specifically said she was unable to give detail information about George because she did not have a close relationship with him as I did,” Pinney said in the email. He said that led to his mistake.

“I apologize for not doing my due diligence and placing you in a very uncomfortable situation,” he wrote.

Pinney had also described Chauvin as “extremely aggressive within the club,” a characterization he stands by.

The full CBS article can be viewed here.


Here is my original post:

Very little has been said about the fact that George Floyd and the former Minneapolis police officer responsible for his death, Derek Chauvin, had worked security together at an area nightclub, El Nuevo Rodeo on Lake Street in south Minneapolis.

A former coworker, David Pinney, spoke to CBS News and said the “two men had a history.”


Pinney told CBS that “not only did they know each other, but they had a history of friction.”

He said, “They bumped heads.”

When asked to elaborate on this comment, Pinney answered, “It has a lot to do with Derek being extremely aggressive within the club with some of the patrons, which was an issue.”

This remark makes one wonder if Chauvin was “extremely aggressive” in general or if his aggression was mostly directed at blacks. Was he an equal opportunity offender or was he a racist?

“Is there any doubt in your mind that Derek Chauvin knew George Floyd?” the reporter inquired.

He replied, “No. He knew him.”

The reporter pressed. “How well did he know him?”

“I would say pretty well,” Pinney replied.

The Floyd family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, believes the charge against Chauvin should be upgraded to first-degree murder, “because we believe he knew who George Floyd was.”

Maya Santamaria, the owner of El Nuevo Rodeo, spoke to CBS News for their forthcoming special “Justice for All.” (The nightclub was set on fire during the riots.)

According to CBS, “Santamaria said she had been paying Chauvin, when he was off-duty, to sit in his squad car outside El Nuevo Rodeo for 17 years. She said Floyd worked as a security guard inside the club frequently in the last year. In particular, they both worked on Tuesday nights, when the club had a popular weekly dance competition.”


The reporter asked, “Do you think Derek had a problem with black people?”

She replied, “I think he was afraid and intimidated.”

“By black folks?”

Santamaria answered, “Yeah.”

No doubt we’ll be learning more about the previous relationship between the the two as the focus moves away from the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death to the legal proceedings.

Even a skeptic would have to admit that kneeling on an individual’s neck is a rather unusual method of restraint, especially for one who is suspected of a non-violent crime.


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