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Nightclub employee backtracks on claim George Floyd and Derek Chauvin had history of conflict

Nightclub employee backtracks on claim George Floyd and Derek Chauvin had history of conflict
© getty: A protester demands justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

A man who worked at the Minneapolis nightclub where George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in Floyd's killing, both worked security has retracted a claim that he had observed friction between the two at the club.

David Pinney earlier this week told CBS News that Chauvin and Floyd had known each other “pretty well” while working at El Nuevo Rodeo, which was burned down during a riot following Floyd’s death, and that the two had “bumped heads” over Chauvin’s treatment of black patrons.

On Wednesday, however, Pinney emailed CBS to walk back the claim, saying “There has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker.”

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"I apologize for not doing my due diligence and placing you in a very uncomfortable situation," he wrote, but added that he stood by his characterization of Chauvin as “extremely aggressive within the club.”

Maya Santamaria, the former owner of the club, had previously said that while Floyd and Chauvin, the latter of whom she paid to sit in his squad car outside the club during events, would likely have come in contact during a popular Tuesday night event they both worked, 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, which occurred after Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25, despite Floyd’s pleas that he was unable to breathe. Santamaria told the network investigators have questioned her about whether she witnessed any arguments or disputes between the two.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but Floyd’s relatives have said they believe Chauvin had personal motivation to kill Floyd, and their lawyer has called for the charge against him to be upgraded to first-degree murder "because we believe he knew who George Floyd was."