Statement from Cup Foods owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh affirms that George Floyd did not resist arrest and that they tried to stop police from murdering him.
Brooklyn Park, MN (May 31, 2020) – “Cup Foods would like to extend its deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family, friends and the South Minneapolis community that we know and love. We are deeply saddened and outraged by what happened to George Floyd in front of our store. There is no justification for the use of reckless force displayed by the police that murdered George Floyd. We support this protest and share in their anger.
The incidents that led up to this event teach us all an important lesson about dealing with police. There is a state policy that requires stores to call the police in the case of counterfeit bills. As a check-cashing business, this is a routine practice for us: we report forged money, then the police come and ask patrons about the bill to trace its origin. Upon receiving a counterfeit bill from George Floyd, one of our employees called the police in accordance with this procedure. The owner of Cup Foods, Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, was not present in the store at the time.
Four officers showed up to the scene, and they proceeded to escalate the situation with increased use of violence and force. 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. It’s likely that George did not even know that he had a fake bill to begin with. We are deeply saddened for our part of this tragedy. We 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 George’s untimely passing, Cup Foods has been in regular contact with Floyd’s family who flew in from Houston. We are joining each other in prayer and solidarity, standing together to demand accountability from the cops. We will also personally be donating to pay for George Floyd’s memorial service.
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. 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. This 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.
This is our time to demand justice. Please make your voice heard: call and email the Minneapolis District Attorney’s office to reach Mike Freeman. Join us in donating money to funds such as the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Black Visions Collective, and Reclaim the Block. Work within your communities to find alternatives to policing, until the point that local and state officials decide to seriously hold police accountable once and for all.
We will continue fighting with our South Minneapolis community until justice is served, not only for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, but for everybody who is affected by police violence in our country.”
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