Cop, Floyd ‘bumped heads’ at bar job
George Floyd and Derek Chauvin reportedly "bumped heads" while working security together at a nightclub in the year before their fatal encounter.
A one-time co-worker at the El Nuevo Rodeo bar in Minneapolis revealed the duo's purported shaky history in an interview with CBS News in the US.
The tension, David Pinney who worked with the two, told the outlet, "has a lot to do with Derek being extremely aggressive within the club with some of the patrons, which was an issue."
The Floyd family has said that what happened between the two was, in part, personal. Their lawyer has called for the former policeman to be charged with first-degree murder, "because we believe he knew who George Floyd was."
"Is there any doubt in your mind that Derek Chauvin knew George Floyd?" CBS News asked Pinney.
"No. He knew him," the coworker said.
"How well did he know him?" CBS News asked.
"I would say pretty well," Pinney replied.
The owner of the club, Maya Santamaria, had previously told local Minneapolis news outlet KSTP that Floyd and Chauvin overlapped shifts on popular music nights over the past 12 months.
Ms Santamaria said Chauvin stood guard outside, acting as the nightspot's "off-duty police" for 17 years, while Floyd worked inside.
Ms Santamaria said she believed Chauvin was "afraid and intimidated" by black people in general, reports the New York Post.
According to Ms Santamaria, Chauvin had a tendency to flash his temper and overreact to situations.
"He sometimes had a real short fuse and he seemed afraid," she said.
"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."
Floyd had also worked as a bouncer for a nearby restaurant, the Conga Latin Bistro.
She also said she was not sure if Floyd and Chauvin knew each other - but Mr Pinney was confident they did.
Mr Pinney confirmed that Chauvin "knew him … pretty well," referring to Floyd.
Floyd's death launched a nationwide call for defunding the police and prompted Black Lives Matter protests globally.
Floyd was laid to rest at the Houston Memorial Gardens in Pearland next to his mother, Lacendra, who he called out for when he was struggling for air just before he died.
FLOYD'S BROTHER: 'STOP THE PAIN'
It comes as George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, challenged US Congress on Wednesday (local time) to "stop the pain" so that his brother wouldn't be just "another name" on a growing list of those killed during interactions with police.
Floyd's appearance before a House hearing came a day after funeral services for his bother, the 46-year-old Minnesota man whose death has become a worldwide symbol in demonstrations over calls for changes to police practices and an end to racial prejudices.
"I'm here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain," Philonise Floyd told the silenced hearing room.
Choking back tears, he said he wants to make sure that his brother, whom he called "Perry," is "more than another face on a T-shirt. More than another name on a list that won't stop growing."
Floyd directly challenged politicians to step up. "The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough. Be the leaders that this country, this world, needs. Do the right thing." House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerrold Nadler, gavelled in the session as Democrats review the Justice in Policing Act, a far-ranging package of proposals amid a national debate on policing and racial inequity in the United States.
Politicians will also hear testimony from civil rights and police leaders at the congressional hearing on proposed changes to police practices and accountability after the Minnesota man's death in police custody and the worldwide protests that followed.
"Today we answer their call," Mr Nadler said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi watched from the hearing audience and the Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy joined on the dais.
Republicans are rushing to draft their own proposal but also criticising calls from activists across the country who want to "defund the police" - a broad term for re-imagining law enforcement, but one that US President Donald Trump and his allies have seized on to portray Democrats as extreme.
"The American people understand that it's time for a real discussion," said Jim Jordan, the ranking Republican on the panel. But he said what they also understand, Mr Jordan said, is that "it is pure insanity to defund the police."
'HATEFUL' MEN MOCK FLOYD'S DEATH
Meanwhile, a group of white protesters have caused outrage by taunting Black Lives Matter demonstrators after they re-enacted the death of George Floyd.
One of the men, a prisons officer, has reportedly been suspended from his job after the video, filmed in New Jersey, was widely shared on social media.
In the video, protesters march along a street in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, chanting "George Floyd!" and "Black Lives Matter!" The video shows they are being escorted by local police.
As they pass a private property, video filmed by one of the marchers shows a man kneeling on the neck of another man, shouting unintelligibly back at protesters.
Two more men are standing nearby and one of them is filming on a mobile phone.
The group is standing on the roadside in front of a ute outfitted with an American flag and a Trump banner. Several others are nearby. An "All Lives Matter" sign is also hanging.
Another truck shows the "thin blue line" flag, meant to show support for police officers.
The video has garnered tens of thousands of views and has been widely shared on social media.
GONE WITH THE WIND DROPPED OVER 'RACIST DEPICTIONS'
Meanwhile, US TV network HBO has pulled the cinematic classic Gone With the Wind from its library amid heightened racial tensions following the death of George Floyd.
HBO's newly-launched US streaming service HBO Max has removed the 1939 film, starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, which romanticises the Civil War-era South while glossing over its racial shortcomings.
Critics in the modern era have criticised Gone With the Wind for its depiction of black people and its entirely watered down depiction of slavery.
The film won eight Oscars including Best Picture and made history when Hattie McDaniel became the first black American to win an Oscar for her performance.
A spokesman for HBO Max explained its decision and its plans to put the film back on the platform but with added "historical context."
"Gone With the Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society," the statement said.
"These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible."
Earlier this week, Oscar-winning 1 2 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times calling on HBO Max to remove the film from its platform.
"It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of colour," Ridley wrote.
COLUMBUS STATUE TORN DOWN, SET ON FIRE
A statue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond, Virginia, has been torn down by protesters, set on fire and then thrown into a lake.
The figure was toppled less than two hours after protesters gathered in the city's Byrd Park were chanting for the statue to be taken down, local news outlets reported.
After the figure was removed from its pedestal around 8.30pm (10.30am AEST) on Tuesday by protesters using several ropes, a sign that reads, "Columbus represents genocide" was placed on the spray-painted foundation that once held the statue.
It was then set on fire and rolled into a lake in the park, NBC 12 reported. There was no police presence in the park, but a police helicopter was seen circling the area after the city-owned figure was torn down, the Richmond Times- Dispatch reported.
Native American advocates have also long pressed states to change Columbus Day to indigenous Peoples Day over concerns that Columbus spurred centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.
Originally published as Cop, Floyd 'bumped heads' at bar job