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29 May 2020, 10:41 | Updated: 29 May 2020, 17:54
Officer Chauvin and George Floyd had reportedly worked together at a restaurant for 17 years before Floyd's death.
According to a Minneapolis City councillor, George Floyd and the man filmed kneeling on his kneck before his death which sparked outrage across the world, Officer Chauvin, were co-workers for 17 years.
A video showing Officer Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department kneeling on George Floyd's neck during an arrest went viral after Floyd died, despite calling out several times saying "I can't breathe", with stars including 50 Cent hitting out after the video appeared online.
Speaking during live TV coverage of the riots which have sparked across Minneapolis and other parts of America following George Floyd's death, Minneapolis City Councillor Andrea Jenkins explains that the pair worked as bouncers together at a restaurant in the city.
She explains, "George Floyd worked at that restaurant, so did Officer Chauvin. They were both bouncers at that restaurant for seventeen years."
Jenkins went on to say, "So Officer Chauvin...he knew George,...they were co-workers".
Andrea Jenkins, vice president of Minneapolis City Council, says George Floyd and Officer Chauvin worked at restaurant near Third Precinct.— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 29, 2020
"They were coworkers for a very long time." pic.twitter.com/IrwJvmxchI
This was later confirmed by Maya Santamaria the owner of what is actually a club called 'El Nuevo Rodeo'.
Santamaria confirmed to KSTP-TV, "Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open." She claimed that she was unsure whether the two men knew each other bur admitted they did work at the venue at the same time.
"They were working together at the same time, it's just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside," she explained.
She also claimed that Officer Derek Chauvin had a short temper, saying, "He sometimes had a real short fuse and he seemed afraid. When there was an altercation he always resorted to pulling out his mace and pepper-spraying everybody right away, even if I felt it was unwarranted."
The news has come as a shock to everyone who was previously unaware that the two knew each other and will alter the narrative of this tragic event even further.
One person responded to the news by tweeting, 'This was personal. Even worse that the other officers assisted in murder' whilst another added, 'smells like a setup - the cops walked george across the street to chauvin and that made no sense before this info'.
A number of high profile stars have spoken out in the wake of George Floyd's death, including Star Wars actor John Boyega who had to defend his anti-racist tweets on Instagram Live.
Mayor of Minneapolis Jacob Frey called out the officers at the centre of George Floyd's death in a press conference the day after the incident occured.
Frey said, “Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail? We cannot turn a blind eye, it is on us as leaders to see this for what it is and call it what it is.”
It has also been reveald that two of the officers at the centre of George Floyd's tragic death had previously been reviewed for 'use of force'.
Both Officer Chauvin and the other officer who can be seen in the video, Tou Thao, reportedly appear on a database by Minneapolis’ Communities United Against Police Brutality.