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Crime News Black Lives Matter

Man Who Claimed George Floyd And Derek Chauvin ‘Bumped Heads’ Recants Story

David Pinney first claimed to have witnessed friction between George Floyd and Derek Chauvin while all three worked at the same night club, but later admitted he'd mistaken Floyd for another man.

By Jill Sederstrom
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A man who claimed this week to have witnessed friction between George Floyd and Derek Chauvin at a night club where all three had worked has now recanted his story—saying he had mistaken Floyd for another man.

David Pinney initially told CBS News that Floyd and Chauvin had “bumped heads” while working together at El Nuevo Rodeo, but Pinney now says he had mistaken Floyd for another African-American man who had worked at the club.

Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who is facing charges in Floyd’s death, had provided off-duty security at the night club for years.

Maya Santamaria, the club’s owner, told local station KSTP that Floyd had also worked at the club and had overlapping shifts at the night club last year.

At the time, she said she did not know whether Floyd, who provided security, and Chauvin had actually known each other.

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

Pinney claimed to have more detailed knowledge of the relationship, telling CBS News that Floyd and Chauvin had known each other “pretty well” but on Wednesday he changed his story, telling the news outlet that he had actually confused Floyd with another employee.

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

Pinney claimed the mix-up occurred after Santamaria had connected him with the news outlet.

“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 wrote, saying that led him to mistake another man for Floyd.

It’s unclear now whether Pinney knew Floyd at all or what type of relationship they may have had with one another. It’s also unclear whether Floyd had known Chauvin.

Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter after he was captured on video pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee pressed into the 46-year-old’s neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest attempt. Floyd, who was handcuffed, can be heard pleading for his life and saying he can’t breathe, but Chauvin continued to pin him to the ground even after Floyd appeared to stop moving.

Three other former police officers including Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are facing charges of aiding and abetting in connection with Floyd’s death.

Lane was released on a $750,000 conditional bail Wednesday afternoon, according to Hennepin County jail records. The three other men remain behind bars.

Pinney had initially told CBS News that Chauvin could be “extremely aggressive within the club with some patrons.” Despite the mix-up regarding Floyd's relationship with Chauvin, he told CBS News he still stands by that characterization of the former officer.