Skip to content

Former co-worker says George Floyd and Derek Chauvin ‘bumped heads’ at club

Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (Image source: Hennepin County Jail)

Most people recoiled in horror the first time they saw the video of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin callously collapsing his knee on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, giving the impression that the alleged killing was impersonal.

Turns out that the deadly encounter might have been more personal than most people previously knew, says a former co-worker of Floyd and Chauvin.

According to CBS News, Floyd and Chauvin worked security, albeit in different capacities, at a nightclub called El Nuevo Rodeo, says former co-worker David Pinney. Chauvin sat in his patrol car outside of the club for 17 years while Floyd worked as a security guard for about a year.

More specifically, Floyd and Chauvin worked on Tuesday evenings during the club’s popular weekly dance competition. The nature of their relationship is the subject of an upcoming documentary “Justice for All.”

In fact, Floyd’s surviving family members want the charges against Chauvin to be upgraded again, to first-degree murder, because they believe Chauvin killed Floyd deliberately because he allegedly harbored ill feelings towards Floyd.

As it stands today, Chauvin was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder by Minneapolis Attorney General Keith Ellison after initially being slapped with a third-degree murder charge. His bail is in excess of $1 million.

Pinney told the news outlet that Floyd and Chauvin “bumped heads” on occasion during the year they worked those Tuesday evenings. In an earlier CBS News report, the owner of El Neuvo Rodeo, Maya Santamaria, said Floyd was well-liked by patrons and employees alike. Chauvin, on the other hand, was aggressive when he occasionally came inside the club to remove rowdy partiers.

That club was burned down during the first weekend of protesting and rioting, the outlet reported.

“Is there any doubt in your mind that Derek Chauvin knew George Floyd?” CBS News inquired of Pinney.

“No. He knew him,” Pinney responded.

“How well did he know him?” CBS News asked.

“I would say pretty well,” Pinney replied.

“They bumped heads,” Pinney added.

“How?” CBS News inquired.

“It has a lot to do with Derek being extremely aggressive within the club with some of the patrons, which was an issue,” Pinney recalls.

This corroborates the narrative painted by the owner of the nightclub, Santamaria, as told to CBS News a week earlier.

“Do you think Derek had a problem with Black people?” the outlet asked Santamaria.

“I think he was afraid and intimidated,” Santamaria said.

“By Black folks?” CBS News asked specifically.

“Yeah,” Santamaria said.