George Floyd and Derek Chauvin's former co-worker who claimed the two men "bumped heads" has now retracted his statement, saying he mistook Floyd for another Black employee. David Pinney worked with Floyd and Chauvin at the El Nuevo Rodeo nightclub in Minneapolis, where all three men did security. He recently claimed to CBS News that they knew each other "pretty well," and even "bumped heads."
Now, in an email to the outlet, Pinney says that "there has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker." He went on to explain that Maya Santamaria, the club's former owner who connected Pinney with CBS News, "specifically said she was unable to give detail information about George because she did not have a close relationship with him as I did." He says that this is what led to the "mix up." Pinney then apologized, "for not doing my due diligence and placing you in a very uncomfortable situation." One statement that Pinney does stand by, however, is his claim that Chauvin was "extremely aggressive within the club."
In his taped interview with CBS News, Pinney stated that he knew Floyd "on a work basis," and that the two of them "were pretty close." He explained that, as far as their security positions went, Floyd "was in charge," and Pinney "worked directly below him as a security adviser." He told CBS News that he worked with Floyd in late 2015 and early 2016, for about five or six months. "It's a difference when you work side by side with somebody. Like, I see him like a brother," Pinney said.
"He was good at talking with people and establishing himself," Pinney said of Floyd, adding that "he never had to put his hands" on anyone. "Usually, his presence would stop people from having any type of competition with one another." Pinney also stated that their "job, in a security position, was to hold the peace in the club and separate the guests if there was an issue." He confessed that, in reality, there were "very few issues" when they "worked together in the club."
Floyd died on May 25, after Chauvin — a now-former Minneapolis police officer — knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes during an arrest. Floyd was allegedly suspected of trying to pay at a store with a counterfeit $20 bill. In a video of the arrest, Floyd is seen going from pleading that he can't breathe to being completely unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead. Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, while the three other former officers have been charged as well.