It’s a sad day in America when you want to call the police on the police.
The owner of a Minneapolis grocery store that George Floyd had just left prior to his arrest said his employee called him crying after witnessing an officer press his knee into the man’s neck.
“Mike, Mike. What should I do? The guy can’t breathe. They’re killing him,” Cup Foods owner, Mike Abumayyaleh, told NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez as he described the call from his employee on the day Floyd was murdered.
“I said, ‘call the police on the police. And make sure it’s recorded.’ And she did that.” He said.
“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,” the owner posted on his Facebook Sunday.
Since the death of Floyd, the store owner says he will no longer call police in similar situations, the Hill reports.
According to the owner, George Floyd was a regular at the store and had never caused him any issues. On May 25, Floyd came to the store with a male and female, the unidentified man tried to use a suspected counterfeit $20 bill, but the employee did not accept it. The three then left the store.
Roughly 10 minutes later, Floyd came back to the store and used a suspicious $20 bill. The employee did not immediately notice until after he left; from there, the employee followed protocol and called the police. Floyd was still outside the store upon the officers’ arrival.
That’s when things took a turn for the worse. Officer Derek Chauvin, was one of three officers who responded to the call about forgery and is the officer seen in the viral video pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes. Floyd later died. The owner said that by “simply following procedure” and calling the cops over suspected counterfeit bills, the store is putting the community in danger.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd begged as he was pinned to the ground. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe.”
Abumayyaleh said he did not know Floyd died until the following morning. “We were all outraged,” he said. He remembers Floyd as someone who was always pleasant and added the idea that Floyd “may not have even known that the bill was counterfeit.”
“What took place outside after that was not in our hands,” Abumayyaleh said. “The murder and execution was something done by the police and the abuse of power. The police brutality needs to stop.”
“Until the police stop killing innocent people, we will handle incidents like this one using non-violent tactics that do not involve the police. We must stand together to fight against institutional racism. He added.