George Floyd and Derek Chauvin's former coworker retracts his claim that the 2 men 'bumped heads,' saying he mistook Floyd for another Black employee

Philosine Floyd/Ramsey CountyA composite image of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin.
  • A former coworker of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin has retracted his claim that the two “bumped heads” at the nightclub where they both worked.
  • David Pinney told CBS News on Wednesday he got Floyd confused with another Black employee he worked it at El Nuevo Rodeo in Minneapolis.
  • However, Pinney says he stands by his claim that Chauvin was “extremely aggressive within the club.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A man who worked at the same Minneapolis club where George Floyd and Derek Chauvin were both employed last year has retracted his claim that the two “bumped heads.”

In an interview with CBS News on June 6, David Pinney said that he worked with Floyd and Chauvin at El Nuevo Rodeo, confirmed that the two knew each other “pretty well,” and that the two men didn’t get along – in part due to Chauvin’s being “extremely aggressive within the club.”

But after the story came out, Pinney emailed CBS News on June 10 and retracted his claim that Floyd and Chauvin knew each other.

He said that he had gotten Floyd mixed up with another Black employee who worked at the club.

David pinneyCBSDavid Pinney has retracted a claim that George Floyd and Derek Chauvin knew each other from their work at the El Nuevo Rodeo and ‘bumped heads.’

Pinney said the confusion arose when the club’s former owner, Maya Santamaria, referred CBS reporters to him, saying he could speak about Floyd since the two were close.

This led Pinney to confuse Floyd for another Black man he worked with at the club.

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

However, Pinnney said he stands by his statements about Chauvin being aggressive in the club.

In the initial CBS report, Santamaria was asked if Chauvin “had a problem with Black people.”

Santamaria said: “I think he was afraid and intimidated” by them.

El Nuevo Rodeo Club floydGoogle MapsInside El Nuevo Rodeo on Lake Street in Minneapolis, where Chauvin and Floyd worked in 2019.

In previous interviews Santamaria has said that while Floyd and Chauvin worked at the club at the same time, she wasn’t sure whether the two met there since Floyd worked as a bouncer inside the club, and Chauvin worked outside.

Santamaria said she used to pay Chauvin to sit in his police squad car outside the club to provide extra security while he was off-duty as a police officer.

In light of Pinney’s retraction, it is now unclear again whether Floyd and Chauvin knew each other before their fatal encounter on May 25, when Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest.

However, the Floyd family believes the two may have known each other.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Floyd family, said in recent interviews that they believe the incident may have been personal in part, and that if it’s determined that the two knew each other, Chauvin’s murder charge should be upgraded to first-degree murder.

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