There's an unusual connection between George Floyd, the man who was killed by police in Minneapolis on Monday and one of the officers fired over his death. Former Officer Derek Chauvin and Floyd each worked security shifts at the El Nuevo Rodeo club.
The building's former owner, Maya Santamaria, spoke to KSTP about their shared workplace. "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." While their shifts overlapped over the last year, the ex-cop apparently couldn't recall if he remembered Floyd.
Santamaria went on to say that though she'd seen the now-viral video that sparked nationwide outcry over the incident, she didn't recognize either of the two at first. "My friend sent me [the video] and said this is your guy who used to work for you and I said, 'It's not him.' And then they did the closeup and that's when I said, 'Oh my God, that's him.'" She added that she "didn't recognize George as one of our security guys because he looked really different lying there like that."
Chauvin had also been the subject of 10 prior complaints during his 19 years on the force, though he'd never been disciplined beyond a reprimand and granted temporary leave (with pay). He had also been the subject of a number of complaints within the department, according to Communities United Against Police Brutality. In three reviews from the Civilian Review Authority, he was accused of using "derogatory language" and a "demeaning tone." He also faced seven separate reviews by the local Office of Police Conduct, though each of them concluded with: "Closed — No discipline."
A number of celebrities have spoken out about the death of Floyd, including Lebron James, Sons of Anarchy alum Theo Rossi as well as John Boyega, who spoke passionately against racism on social media. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump also announced that he'd be launching a federal investigation involving both the FBI and the Department of Justice. "I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement," Trump tweeted. "My heart goes out to George's family and friends. Justice will be served!"