Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News

Former Coworker Recalls Working With George Floyd, Derek Chauvin

David Pinney, who worked at El Nuevo Rodeo alongside both George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, initially said the two men knew each other "pretty well" during their time there, but has since had to change his story.

By Jill Sederstrom
Police Officer Accused Of Killing George Floyd Charged

Editor's note: David Pinney, the former coworker of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, informed CBS News after his interview with them that he had mistaken Floyd for another man when he said that the two had "bumped heads" at the nightclub where they worked. Because of that, it remains unclear what, if any, relationship Floyd and Chauvin had while they overlapped at El Nuevo Rodeo in Minneapolis. Oxygen.com has published an update to the story here.

George Floyd and the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering him once “bumped heads” at the nightclub where they both worked security, according to a former coworker.

David Pinney, who worked with Floyd and former police officer Derek Chauvin at El Nuevo Rodeo, told CBS News there had been friction between the two men in the past.

“They bumped heads,” Pinney said.

Pinney said the tension between the two men was often related to how Chauvin—who provided off-duty police security outside the club—treated others.

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

Floyd was killed on May 25 during an attempted arrest by Minneapolis police. Video documenting the arrest showed Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as the 46-year-old pleaded that he couldn't breathe.

George Floyd Derek Chauvin Fb Ap

Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder in the death; however, those charges were later upgraded to second-degree murder.

Floyd’s family has argued through their attorney Ben Crump that Chauvin should be facing first-degree murder charges because they believe the two men had known each other before the fatal altercation, according to an earlier interview Crump gave to “Face the Nation”.

"We think that [Chauvin] had intent, based on not the one minute, two-minute, but over eight minutes, almost nine minutes he kept his knee in a man's neck that was begging and pleading for breath," Crump said. "At what point does it not be about detaining a man who is face-down with handcuffs, not posing any threat, to an intentional will to cause bodily harm? And if that results in death, every prosecutor in America will show that that is first-degree murder."

Pinney said he believed the two men had known each other “pretty well” before Floyd’s death.

Maya Santamaria, the owner of El Nuevo Rodeo, also told local station KSTP that the two men often had overlapping shifts at the nightclub last year.

“They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside,” she said.

Santamaria, who sold the venue a few months ago, said she could not be sure whether the men had known each other because there were often multiple security guards on duty.

In an interview with CBS News, Santamaria said she believed Chauvin, who provided off-duty security for the club for 17 years, had been “afraid and intimidated” by black people.

Derek Chauvin Ap

Floyd’s death has sparked protests across the country as outraged demonstrators call for police reform.

On Tuesday, thousands gathered to remember the man who has been described as a gentle giant in a final farewell in Houston, Texas.

“All over the world George, they’re marching with your name,” Rev. Al Sharpton said in his eulogy. “Even in a pandemic, people are walking out in the streets, not even following social distancing, because you’ve touched the world.”

Chauvin is currently being held in a state correctional facility as he awaits trial.

Nicholas Kimball, communications director for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, told Oxygen.com he was moved to the state facility at the request of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

“The move to DOC custody was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure he is safely held and after concern about space in jail due to large numbers of arrests related to the unrest over the last few nights,” Kimball told Oxygen.com last week.