George Floyd and Officer Chauvin once worked security together, former club owner says

A former south Minneapolis club owner is sharing her story, saying George Floyd and former officer Derek Chauvin both worked security at her establishment at the same time.

Officer Chauvin was taken into custody Friday after Floyd died in his custody Monday evening.

A former club owner in south Minneapolis says the now-fired police officer and the black man who died in his custody this week both worked security for her club up to the end of last year.

Maya Santamaria, former owner of the El Nuevo Rodeo club on Lake Street, said both men worked at her establishment at the same time.

"Chauvin was our off-duty police officer through the third precinct that gave us police presence. For 17 years, I worked with him and another officer," she said. "He would stay outside and patrol in his patrol car...and then when there was an altercation that our security staff needed to hand over to police, he was there."

Santamaria said she first saw the video of Floyd's arrest when a friend sent her a message on Facebook.

"In the beginning, my reaction was, 'that can't be Chauvin],'" she said, "then I realized, 'oh, my god, that is him.' And I couldn't believe he was doing that for so long. I didn't recognize George at all. I just kept yelling at my phone... I couldn't believe it."

"These officers, they just go into this zone...they lose it. Chauvin was one of those people that I saw lose it," she added. "He would sometimes push too far. There were many times I expressed to him the fact that I didn't think he was OK with what he did. He always had an excuse to defend himself."

Santamaria said once she recognized Floyd, her memories came rushing back.

"I remember him saying, 'hey, boss lady,' and being real nice to me and being real respectful and super charismatic...a really nice guy who smiled at everybody," she said.

"I don't think that they recognized each other that day," Santamaria said.