Shop owner who called police on George Floyd says he won't again until they 'stop killing innocent people'

1 June 2020, 08:58

Violent protests have broken out all over the US in the wake of George Floyd's death
Violent protests have broken out all over the US in the wake of George Floyd's death. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

The owner of the shop that called police to report George Floyd for allegedly using a counterfeit note has said he will deal with non-violent incidents himself in future.

Police responded to the call from Cup Foods in Minneapolis last Monday, which ultimately led to the death of Mr Floyd as he lay face down on the pavement after being arrested and a white police officer knelt on his neck.

Despite being handcuffed, unarmed and warning officer Derek Chauvin that he couldn't breathe, Chauvin remained on his neck for at least eight minutes.

The owner of Cup Foods, Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, has since said he will handle similar incidents in future himself "until police stop killing innocent people".

Almost a week of daily protests have taken place across the US since Mr Floyd's death
Almost a week of daily protests have taken place across the US since Mr Floyd's death. Picture: PA

In the lengthy statement on Facebook, Mr Abumayyaleh said it was standard procedure to call police when counterfeit money is used - so they can trace its origin.

"It’s likely that George did not even know that he had a fake bill to begin with," he said.

"Four officers showed up to the scene, and they proceeded to escalate the situation with increased use of violence and force.

READ MORE: George Floyd protests: Violent clashes across America

"The nephew of the store owner, who was also present at the time, was yelling for the police officers to stop, and was pushed away by one of the cops.

"Sadly, we all know the rest of the story. Despite the fact that George never resisted arrest, police proceeded to end George Floyd’s life over a counterfeit bill."

'I can't breathe' has become a chant at the protests, taking from Mr Floyd's last moments as he pleaded with Chauvin to get off his neck
'I can't breathe' has become a chant at the protests, taking from Mr Floyd's last moments as he pleaded with Chauvin to get off his neck. Picture: PA

Chauvin, the officer who was filmed kneeling on My Floyd's neck, has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder.

The other three officers who responded to the same call have been fired from their jobs.

Video of the incident has also gone viral, sparking huge protests across the US and reviving the debate over racist practices in the US justice system.

"Police are supposed to protect and serve their communities; instead, what we’ve seen over and over again is the police abusing their power and violating the people’s trust," Mr Abumayyaleh said.

READ MORE: Thousands march through the streets of London for Black Lives Matter protest

"We realise now that escalating situations to the police almost always does more harm than good, even for something as harmless as a fake bill.

The store owner then said that by following procedure in calling police, they had been putting their community "in danger".

He added: "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."

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