David Pinney's remarks echo claims made by Floyd's family that George's death was, in part, personal

By Chris Harris
June 10, 2020 11:00 AM
Advertisement

According to a man who claims he worked at the same Minneapolis nightclub that once employed George Floyd and his alleged killer, disgraced policeman Derek Chauvin, the two men were well acquainted, and, at times, "bumped heads" over the officer's aggressive handling of the club's patrons.

David Pinney spoke to CBS News on Tuesday, the day Floyd was laid to rest, telling the outlet he worked at the El Nuevo Rodeo club with Chauvin and the 46-year-old who died May 25 when the former officer planted his knee on the handcuffed man's neck for nearly 9 minutes.

According to Pinney, the two men had a history of tension.

"They bumped heads," Pinney explained. When asked to elaborate, Pinney responded: "It has a lot to do with Derek being extremely aggressive within the club with some of the patrons, which was an issue."

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin
Splash

David Pinney's remarks echo claims made by Floyd's family that George's death was, in part, personal.

CBS News pressed Pinney on the two men's relationship.

Pinney claims Chauvin, 44, definitely knew Floyd. "I would say pretty well," he added.

Maya Santamaria, the owner of the club, which has been lost to arson, previously told CBS News that Chauvin allegedly took a different approach in how he treated black patrons.

Chauvin worked at the club when he was off-duty, usually sitting in his squad car outside the club. Floyd worked security inside.

"Do you think Derek had a problem with black people?" CBS News asked Santamaria.

"I think he was afraid and intimidated," Santamaria replied.

"By black folks?" CBS News clarified.

"Yeah," Santamaria confirmed.

Formal criminal charges have been filed against Chauvin and the three other officers who were present at the time of Floyd's death.

Thomas Lane, 37, Tou Thao, 34, and J. Alexander Kueng, 26, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter.

Chauvin is being held on $1.25 million bail, after he was charged with third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and manslaughter.

Floyd's detention and death were caught on camera, with viral footage sparking widespread outrage on social media. In the video, Chauvin is seen placing his knee firmly on the back of Floyd's neck as he lies face down on his stomach, next to a patrol car.

Floyd can be heard in the video groaning in pain while bystanders plead with Chauvin to be more gentle. Throughout the nine-minute clip, he repeatedly asks for help. He tells the officers that he cannot breathe and says that "everything hurts." The video continued until Floyd was visibly still.

In the initial media statement after Floyd's death, the Minneapolis Police Department alleged that he was "under the influence," and that police were responding to a report of forgery.

Police also alleged that Floyd resisted arrest. But many lawmakers in Minnesota and others have questioned the police account, pointing out that no video evidence shows Floyd resisting.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Chauvin has yet to enter pleas to the charges against him, and his attorney has yet to respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

The other three officers have not yet entered pleas and are being held at the Hennepin County jail on $1 million bail without conditions or $750,000 bail with conditions. Their lawyers also could not be reached for comment.

Floyd's funeral was held Tuesday.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.