Club Employee Retracts Claim That George Floyd, Derek Chauvin Had ‘Bumped Heads’

June 11, 2020 Updated: June 11, 2020

A man who worked at the Minneapolis nightclub where George Floyd and former officer Derek Chauvin worked security recanted a claim that the two had issues with one another at the club.

Earlier this week, David Pinney, the former employee, said Floyd and Chauvin knew one another when they worked at Minneapolis-based El Nuevo Rodeo, which later was burnt to the ground during a riot over Floyd’s death. He said the two “bumped heads” while working there, prompting further speculation about the case.

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and lost his job in Floyd’s death, which went viral on social media before sparking widespread protests, riots, and other acts of violence.

Pinney on Wednesday apologized to CBS News and said he got his facts wrong.

“There has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker,” he said. “I apologize for not doing my due diligence and placing you in a very uncomfortable situation,” Pinney said, adding that he stood by his claim that Chauvin was“extremely aggressive within the club.”

Fired Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin
Fired Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin. (Courtesy of Darnella Frazier/Facebook)

Pinney told CBS that he knew Floyd.

“I knew George on a work basis,” he said. “We were pretty close. When it came to our security positions, he was in charge and I worked directly below him as a security adviser.”

The former owner of the club, Maya Santamaria, said Floyd and Chauvin would have likely come into contact with one another while working, but she wasn’t sure whether the two knew one another.

“I want to make sure that it’s clear that I in no uncertain terms want to imply that these two knew each other or had a working relationship, or, on the contrary, that they had a beef. Because I don’t think that would be a fair representation,” Santamaria remarked.

Pinney had said that Floyd and Chauvin “knew each other … pretty well.”

Epoch Times Photo
A police officer stands amid smoke and debris as buildings continue to burn in the aftermath of a night of protests and violence following the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 29, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, said on Wednesday that the two knew each other, adding: “Chauvin knew George before their encounter on May 25 and, based on the testimony of this witness, they had issues.”

“It may be proven that he ABUSED his power, took advantage of the situation, and MURDERED George, knowing who he was. The question remains whether or not he targeted George and committed this crime with malice. If so, he should be charged with First Degree Murder!” Crump wrote on Instagram.