The owner of Cup Foods, the Minneapolis store where a clerk called 911 on George Floyd, says his business will no longer involve the police in certain incidents until law enforcement stops â€œkilling innocent people.â€
On Sunday,Â Mahmoud Abumayyaleh posted a lengthy note on Facebook to say that he supports the protests over the death of Floyd, a Black man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck outside Cup Foods, and said his store is â€œdeeply saddened for our part of this tragedy.â€
â€œWe have been a cornerstone and pillar of this community for three generations of our family and for 31 years have proudly served our neighborhood. Since Georgeâ€™s untimely passing, Cup Foods has been in regular contact with Floydâ€™s family who flew in from Houston,â€ Abumayyaleh wrote, adding that his store is â€œstanding together to demand accountability from the cops.â€
Abumayyaleh also said that heâ€™ll be â€œdonating to pay for George Floydâ€™s memorial serviceâ€ and pledged to change how his store handles â€œincidents like this one.â€
Floyd was killed last week after police arrested him forÂ allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at Cup Foods. In a video taken by a bystander, Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin can be seen pressing his knee into Floydâ€™s neck as Floyd lies on the ground. AÂ criminal complaint released FridayÂ notes that Chauvin had his knee on Floydâ€™s neck for nearly nine minutes, three of which were after Floyd was â€œnon-responsive.â€
On Monday, an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Floydâ€™s family concluded his cause of death was â€œhomicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.â€ This contradicts the Hennepin County medical examinerâ€™s autopsy, which recorded â€œno physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulationâ€ according to the criminal complaint.
Protests have erupted nationwide and beyond since Floydâ€™s death as people called for Chauvin and fellow officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng â€• who were all present during the incident â€• to be charged. Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but protests pleading for criminal justice and police brutality reform continue while the other officers remain uncharged.
â€œPolice are supposed to protect and serve their communities; instead, what weâ€™ve seen over and over again is the police abusing their power and violating the peopleâ€™s trust. We realize now that escalating situations to the police almost always does more harm than good, even for something as harmless as a fake bill,â€ Abumayyaleh wrote in his post.
â€œThis is not an isolated incident: they have shown time and time again that they do not know how to peacefully handle conflicts in our community. By simply following procedure we are putting our communities in danger. Until the police stop killing innocent people, we will handle incidents like this one using non-violent tactics that do not involve police. We must stand together to fight against institutional racism.â€
Abumayyaleh promised to â€œcontinue fighting with our South Minneapolis community until justice is servedâ€ for Floyd, fellow victims of racist violence Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and â€œeverybody who is affected by police violence in our country.â€
In an interview last week,Â Abumayyaleh shared withÂ TRT World Now what had happened at his store, and called Floydâ€™s death a â€œtragedy.â€ Since then, heâ€™s been vocal about his opposition to how the police treated Floyd, posting his support for Floyd and his family on Facebook.
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