The owner of the Minneapolis store outside which George Floyd was killed has said he is no longer going to cooperate with the police because it ‘always does more harm than good’.
Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, owner of Cup Foods grocery store, said he and his family were ‘deeply saddened for our part of this tragedy’.
He said that the incident should serve to ‘teach us all an important lesson about dealing with police’.
Floyd died outside the store on May 25 after he used a counterfeit $20 bill, and police were called.
Derek Chauvin, a policeman, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes during the arrest, and Floyd died at the scene.
‘There is no justification for the use of reckless force displayed by the police that murdered George Floyd,’ wrote Abumayyaleh on Facebook.
Abumayyaleh was not present at the store, which has been owned by his family for 31 years, at the time of Floyd’s killing.
His nephew, however, berated the police while they tussled with Floyd, he said, and was pushed away by the officers.
Abumayyaleh wrote the post on Facebook on Friday, expressing his sadness
‘Despite the fact that George never resisted arrest, police proceeded to end George Floyd’s life over a counterfeit bill,’ he wrote.
‘It’s likely that George did not even know that he had a fake bill to begin with.’
Abumayyaleh said that his family will be donating money to pay for Floyd’s memorial service, and had been supporting the Floyd family as best they could.
‘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,’ he wrote.
‘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.’
The religious leaders joined thousands of people across the country in calling for justice
Protests against Floyd’s death began the day after he was killed, and have since spread nationwide.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden have both called the Floyd family to express their condolences, and Chauvin has been charged with murder.
That has done little to quell the unrest.
On Tuesday evening protests were taking place across the country, and police were preparing for more violence.