Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged with first-degree murder after George Floyd’s death, knew him well and had clashed with him in the past, it is alleged.
David Pinney, who once worked as a security guard alongside Chauvin and Floyd at Minneapolis nightclub El Nuevo Rodeo, said the pair knew each other well and said they couldn’t get along.
He told CBS News that Floyd and Chauvin would “bump” regularly, and blamed Chauvin’s “extremely aggressive” personality for the conflict.
“It has a lot to do with Derek being extremely aggressive within the club with a number of clients, which was a problem,” said Pinney.
Maya Santamaria, who owned the now-closed El Nuevo Rodeo, said she thought Chauvin was “afraid” of black people and found it intimidating.
6ft 4ins nightclub bouncer Floyd was described by his younger brother Philonise as a “soft giant”.
The Floyd family have said they believe Chauvin had a personal motive when he arrested George Floyd on May 25.
Their lawyer has called on Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder “because we think he knew who George Floyd was.”
Hennepin’s prosecutor will prosecute the case.
Huckepin County spokesman Chuck Laszewski has revealed that Chauvin was trying to negotiate a plea deal in the days leading up to his arrest.
He said, “In the end, those negotiations failed.”
On Friday, May 29, the day after negotiations failed, Chauvin was arrested by the police and Hennepin’s prosecutor charged with third-degree murder.
Chauvin’s charges were upgraded to first-degree murder on June 4, while at the same time the three other officers involved in the arrest of Floyd – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – were charged with assisting and instigating second-degree murders. .
Chauvin was initially charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder.
Third-degree murder, which exists only for clarification in some US states, applies in cases where the perpetrator did not intend to cause death, but acted so recklessly that a death occurred.
While second-degree murder requires the intent to kill, it applies in cases where the act is a “spontaneous” decision where the perpetrator acted in the heat of the battle.
A first-degree murder charge is brought when it is believed that the killer has planned the crime in advance.