Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis (now ex-)police officer who was seen in a viral video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, as the arrested begged for his life, continuing to apply pressure long after Floyd had stopped breathing, turns out to have quite a history. Part of that history? He and Floyd were co-workers for a full year.
According to Insider, the former owner of El Nuevo Rodeo Club says that before she sold the business last year, both Derek Chauvin and George Floyd were employed there. Chauvin served as security for 17 years, and Floyd was a bouncer through 2019. Maya Santamaria, who owned the club at the time, says it’s possible they didn’t know each other, but for a full year, the two worked related jobs at the same club.
While Chauvin’s work would have been outside, and Floyd would have worked security inside the building, Santamaria says they would have been at work during the same hours.
Andrea Jenkins, vice president of the Minneapolis City Council, told MSNBC a slightly different story, as seen in the clip below. She seems less clear on how long Floyd worked for the establishment, but seems to see less distinction in their job titles and descriptions. She firmly asserts, “Officer Chauvin….knew George. They were co-workers for a very long time.”
Andrea Jenkins, vice president of Minneapolis City Council, says George Floyd and Officer Chauvin worked at restaurant near Third Precinct.
"They were coworkers for a very long time." pic.twitter.com/IrwJvmxchI
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 29, 2020
The Associated Press notes that Chauvin had been the subject of complaints 17 times in the past. Though records don’t show the details of the complaints, 16 were closed without disciplinary action, and the other with letters of reprimand. His record includes shooting two suspects. The one that survived disputes the official account of the incident, saying that the officer broke a bathroom door and began to hit him, and that he merely tried to defend himself. He maintains that, contrary to official reports, he was too disoriented to have tried to go for Chauvin’s gun.
Though Chauvin has been fired from his position, he has not been arrested and charged in Floyd’s death. Protests calling for his arrest, and for justice, hit a fever pitch Thursday night, escalating to include fires, arrests, injuries and one shooting death, which is being investigated, according to CBS Minnesota.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com