George Floyd may have personally known the Minneapolis police officer who killed him.
Floyd died after now former Officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground by his neck while he was also handcuffed, Tuesday. Chauvin was one of four Minneapolis officers to be fired as a result of Floyd’s death, although no criminal charges have been brought against any of them as of yet.
Maya Santamaria says that she employed both Floyd and Chauvin at the El Nuevo Rodeo club which she used to own.
“Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open,” Santamaria recently told KSTP. She also says that Chauvin and Santamaria used to work the same shift and had most recently done so within the last year. However, while “they were working together at the same time,” she notes, “Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside.”
Chauvin says she recently made this connection between her two former employees after a friend pointed it out to her. “I didn’t recognize George [at first] as one of our security guys because he looked really different lying there like that,” she said, commenting on the widely distributed video that shows Floyd pinned by the neck.
While Santamaria no longer operates El Nuevo Rodeo, she based a radio staton, La Raza 95.7 FM, out of the same building where her club used to be. This building has been vandalized during a series of violent riots that have taken place since Floyd’s death.
Santamaria’s property was not the only one to be damaged, either. Minnesotans have recently begun to create lists of all the establishments vandalized in the recent days’ riots.
— Andrew Usher 🇺🇸 (@KCChiefsUpNorth) May 28, 2020