Man who claimed George Floyd, Derek Chauvin ‘bumped heads’ changes story

What you need to know about Derek Chauvin

A former co-worker of Derek Chauvin and George Floyd who claimed that the two men knew each other "very well" and "bumped heads" when they worked a security detail at a Minneapolis cantina now says he was mistaken and is retracting his story, CBS News reported.

Explore»PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Did George Floyd and Derek Chauvin know each other? Co-worker says they did

David Pinney told CBS News in an exclusive interview Tuesday that Chauvin and Floyd had a history of not getting along and often "bumped heads" when they worked shifts together at the El Nuevo Rodeo restaurant and nightclub.

By Wednesday, though, Pinney changed his story, saying he had confused Floyd with another employee.

“There has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker,” he wrote in an email, according to the network. “I apologize for not doing my due diligence and placing you in a very uncomfortable situation.”

Explore»Report: Ex-cop accused of killing George Floyd was negotiating plea deal before arrest

Floyd died on Memorial Day after Chauvin, a former officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded “I can’t breathe.”

Chauvin and three other officers were immediately fired, and after an outcry from the community, he was charged with third-degree murder, which the state attorney general later upgraded to second-degree murder. The other officers were also charged as accessories.

Explore»RELATED: Who was George Floyd?

Pinney only changed his story about Floyd and Chauvin’s relationship but stood by his assertion that Chauvin was “extremely aggressive” while on duty at the club.

When Pinney characterized the men’s relationship as strained, CBS reporter Jeff Pegues asked why Floyd and Chauvin didn’t get along.

“It has a lot to do with Derek being extremely aggressive in the club with some of the patrons, which was an issue,” Pinney said.

Pinney then said he felt certain that Chauvin knew Floyd and suggested he would have recognized him on the fateful day of his arrest.

“He knew him,” Pinney said in the interview, adding that regular security staff regularly “interfaced with the officers” and that Floyd knew Chauvin “pretty well.”

Explore»MORE: Police unions brace for political fight as calls grow to ‘defund’ law enforcement

It was already known since last month that both men worked at the venue, but the connection was believed to be only coincidental, and that the men did not know each other because Chauvin only worked outside, while Floyd was stationed inside.

Floyd’s family, however, has publicly speculated whether the May 25 incident in which Floyd died may have stemmed from some prior personal grievance.

Maya Santamaria, the owner of the business, first revealed a possible connection between Floyd and Chauvin, although she wasn’t sure if the men ever spoke or met each other.

Chauvin occasionally worked at the club for 17 years as an off-duty officer, backing up a regular security team inside the venue, where Floyd worked for about a year, Santamaria said.

She told CBS that she thought Chauvin was “afraid and intimidated” by black people.

“They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside,” she said. “When there was an altercation he always resorted to pulling out his mace pepper spray everybody right away even though I felt it was unwarranted,” she said.

CBS News confirmed that investigators are looking into whether the two men knew each other.

Civil attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, previously noted that Chauvin could still face first-degree murder charges if the investigation revealed the former officer knew Floyd.

“That is going to be an interesting aspect to this case and hopefully upgrading these charges to first-degree murder because we believe he knew who George Floyd was,” Crump said.

The Rodeo restaurant was burned to the ground during the unrest that erupted after Floyd’s death.

In Other News