Story at a glance

  • Pinney earlier this week told CBS Evening News that Floyd and Chauvin knew each other “pretty well” and the two had a history of not getting along.
  • On Wednesday, he walked back that claim saying there was a mix up between Floyd and another co-worker.
  • Floyd and Chauvin both worked as security at the same club, but it’s unclear if the two knew each other.

A man who worked at a Minneapolis nightclub where George Floyd and Derek Chauvin both worked security is retracting a claim the two had a history of not getting along.

David Pinney earlier this week told CBS Evening News that Floyd and Chauvin knew each other “pretty well” while working at El Nuevo Rodeo, a club that was eventually burned down during a riot following Floyd’s death. 

Pinney told CBS the two “bumped heads,” and it had to do with Chauvin being aggressive with some of the patrons. 


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But on Wednesday, Pinney emailed CBS to change his story. 

Pinney told the outlet he confused Floyd with someone else. 

“There has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker,” Pinney told CBS. 


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

Pinney stood by his characterization of Chauvin, however, as being “extremely aggressive within the club.”

Maya Santamaria, who formerly owned the club, told KSTP last month both Floyd and Chauvin worked as security for her club until the end of last year and had overlapping shifts. She said Chauvin stood guard outside acting as the club’s off-duty police for 17 years, while Floyd worked inside. She said she was unsure whether the two men knew each other.

Investigators are currently examining whether the two men had any relationship before Floyd’s death. 

Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police during an arrest on Memorial Day, after Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The incident, which was caught on camera by a bystander, has sparked widespread outrage and large-scale protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the country.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while three other officers on the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. All four were fired from the police department.


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This article was updated to add that David Pinney changed his claims regarding the relationship between George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. 

Published on Jun 10, 2020