Article by Leo Zagami
There is a lot of “strange” elements in this sad episode of injustice surrounding the apparent death of George Floyd. First of all, Maya Santamaria, a former club owner in South Minneapolis went on record yesterday with an interview saying that the now-fired police officer Derek Chauvinand George Floyd,who died in his custody on Monday, both worked security for her club, the El Nuevo Rodeo club on Lake Street until the end of last year. Santamaria said to the local ABC affiliate that she did not recognize initially either one of her security guards in the video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck that happened not far from where they both used to work.
At the beginning “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.’”
But viewed close up, Santamaria recognized him, “Oh my God, that’s him,’” she said. “I didn’t recognize George as one of our security guys because he looked really different lying there like that.”
Both men were employed for the whole of 2019, according to Santamaria, who sold the club still in existence at the end of last year. Floyd was one of the bouncers inside the club while Chauvin now charged with a third-degree murder of his ex-colleague worked mainly outside. “Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open,” Santamaria told KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate news station in Minneapolis.
Nobody knows with absolute certainty how well they knew each other, but “They were working together at the same time; it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the