A day after a CBS News story claimed that a man who worked at a night club with both George Floyd and Derek Chauvin said they “bumped heads,” the man came forward to say that his initial claim to the network was wrong.
CBS reported on Tuesday that David Pinney said Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes and now faces charges in Floyd’s death, had a difficult relationship with Floyd when they worked together.
On Wednesday, Pinney emailed CBS and said he had confused Floyd with another worker.
“There has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker,” he wrote.
In the email, he said former club owner Maya Santamaria, who helped CBS connect with Pinney, “specifically said she was unable to give detail information about George because she did not have a close relationship with him as I did.”
“I apologize for not doing my due diligence and placing you in a very uncomfortable situation,” Pinney wrote.
Pinney did say in his follow-up communication that he stood by his claim that Chauvin was “extremely aggressive within the club.”
He had initially said that Floyd and Chauvin knew each other “pretty well.”
Santamaria said they may not have had a lot of contact, even though they were both employed at the El Nuevo Rodeo club in South Minneapolis, according to KSTP-TV.
“Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open,” Santamaria said. “They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside.”
The past connection between Floyd and Chauvin is being probed in light of Floyd’s death.
During testimony to Congress last week, Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, said he felt the past triggered Chauvin’s decision to kneel on his brother’s neck.
“I think it was personal because they worked at the same place. So for him to do something like that, it had to be premeditated,” he said, according to The Hill.
“I know that he knew him,” Floyd added. “Everybody knew him.”
“And it has to be racist. It has to be something to do with racism.”
In a Wednesday appearance on Fox News’ “Your World,” Houston police chief Art Acevedo said personal motives may underlie the tragedy.
“I know if it was in my city, I would be investigating very closely the relationship with Mr. Floyd and the officer that had that knee on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds,” Acevedo told host Neil Cavuto.
“I have a feeling that we may find some kind of conflict that may have led to this individual doing what he did with an abandoned heart and with malice in his heart, which I think will have an impact on the type of charges and the impact on the trial moving forward,” he added.
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