A former club owner told the outlet that the now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin and the 46-year-old African American had worked for her on some of the same nights at her facility near the end of 2019.
The club, El Nuevo Rodeo, was owned by Maya Santamaria, who informed KSTP that she only sold the venue a few months ago after nearly two decades.
“Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open.”
While the former club owner is sure that the pair worked with at least part of their shifts overlapping, she said she couldn’t be sure that they ever actually met.
“They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside,” she said.
The business owner, who now operates a local radio station in the same building where the club was previously housed, said that on high traffic nights during the time that the pair would have both been employed there, it’s possible there could be several dozen security officers at her establishment.
Santamaria told KSTP 5 that she couldn’t believe the men involved were previously employed by her, but the growing coverage confirmed their identity.
“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. I didn’t recognize George as one of our security guys because he looked really different lying there like that.”
KSTP 5 reached out to Chauvin’s attorney, as well as the Minneapolis Police Department, about the connection between Floyd and the officer. Neither returned the request for comment at the time their report was published on Thursday afternoon.
The death of Floyd has caused an uproar across the nation, but specifically in Minneapolis, where protests have devolved into riots which have caused devastation.
BREAKING: The third precinct police station is on fire. Rioters have taken over pic.twitter.com/AJg4jDr9Tz
— Max Nesterak (@maxnesterak) May 29, 2020
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has activated his state’s National Guard in the wake of the Floyd protests after he received requests from local leaders for resources to cope with the outrage, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
The governor signed the executive order, saying that he’s bringing the troops to “help protect Minnesotans’ safety and maintain peace” as demonstrations continue.
In addition to the National Guard, Walz has summoned the Minnesota State Patrol, which includes about 200 troopers, who will also be deployed to the smoldering streets.