The killing of George Floyd was “personal” and “premeditated,” Floyd’s brother told Congress on Wednesday. Philonise Floyd believes former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin had personal motivations to kneel on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Floyd and Chauvin both worked as security guards at El Nuevo Rodeo, a nightclub in Minneapolis. For a year, Chauvin and Floyd worked in “close proximity” every Tuesday night when the club held its popular weekly dance competition. Chauvin was employed by the club for 17 years to sit outside the club while he was off-duty. Meanwhile, Floyd worked security inside the club.
El Nuevo Rodeo’s owner, Maya Santamaria, said she wasn’t sure if the two men actually ever met while working at the club.
A former employee of a nightclub told CBS News this week that Floyd and Chauvin knew each other “pretty well,” and that they “bumped heads” over the ex-cop’s treatment of some patrons while on the job. However, the former co-worker has retracted his story following the publication of his allegations.
On Thursday, David Pinney said he had mistaken Floyd for another unnamed black employee.
“There has been a mix-up between George and another fellow co-worker,” Pinney said.
Philonise Floyd believes that his brother’s death was personal. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) asked Floyd if he could think of any reason why Chauvin would kneel on his brother’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
“No, sir. I don’t really know why he did it,” Floyd answered. “But personally, I think it was personal because they worked at the same place,” Philonise Floyd said during congressional testimony. “So for him to do something like that, it had to be premeditated — and he wanted to do that.
“George always made sacrifices for his family. And he made sacrifices for complete strangers. He gave the little that he had to help others. He was our gentle giant,” Floyd’s younger brother said. “I was reminded of that when I watched the video of his murder. He called all the officers ‘sir.’ The men who took his life, who suffocated him for eight minutes and 46 seconds. He still called them ‘sir’ as he begged for his life.
“George wasn’t hurting anyone that day. He didn’t deserve to die over $20. I am asking you, is that what a black man’s worth? $20? This is 2020. Enough is enough,” Floyd said on Capitol Hill. “Make the necessary changes to make law enforcement the solution and not the problem.
“They lynched my brother,” Philonise Floyd said. “That was a modern-day lynching in broad daylight.”
Chauvin, 44, is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in the fatal arrest of George Floyd on May 25. Chauvin was originally charged with third-degree, but charges were upgraded by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution of the four former Minneapolis Police Department officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest.
Hennepin County Judge Jeannice Reding set Chauvin’s bail at $1 million with conditions or a $1.25 million unconditional bail. The conditions would require Chauvin to turn in his firearms and gun permits, have no contact with Floyd’s family, not leave the state, and not work in a security capacity or as an officer while out on bail.
Chauvin did not enter a plea, and his next court appearance is on June 29.