By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  The owner of the south Minneapolis convenient store where police first made contact with George Floyd is speaking out.

He says officers were called because of a counterfeit 20 dollar bill Floyd used to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Owner Mahmod Abumayaleh says he is with community in wanting justice for the Floyd family.

For 31 years, Cup Foods has been a part of this South Minneapolis community.

“We don’t just work in the community that is our community we know the community it’s a vibe that is unmatched to any other community it’s the best thing to happen to our family,” said Abumayyaleh.

The family owned business has come under fire, after a phone call to police about the passing of a counterfeit 20 dollar bill led to 46 year-old African-American man George Floyd begging a Minneapolis police officer for his life.

“I was no there. The staff that called police followed protocol when he identified the bill was fake. The patron was out of the establishment when the police arrived, he was outside of the establishment which normally never takes place why he was still there were not sure,” Abumayyaleh said.

RELATED: City Of Minneapolis Releases Transcript Of 911 Call On George Floyd

Owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh says what happened on the street outside his establishment should never have ended with a man dying.

“Most of the times when patrons give us a counterfeit bill they don’t even know its fake so when the police are called there is no crime being committed just wat to know where it came from and that’s usually what takes place this was a very circumstantial event that ended in a tragedy and unfortunately we are taking a lot of animosity,” he said.

He understands people are upset but feels their anger should be used to get the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Floyd’s death.

”For those who say if the police hadn’t been called he would be alive how does that staff member feel about that may be rightfully so but we cannot predict the future if I was there things wound have been handled differently,” Abumayyaleh said.

This businesses owner says he is prepared to do what he can for the family.

“We want to offer first and foremost our deepest condolences we want to offer any support whether its financially, socially, spiritually any type of support they need,”Abumayyaleh said.

Cup Food owners say video from the store, which they have been asked not to release, shows Floyd was not resisting officers.

They have offered to pay for Floyd’s funeral expenses.

Reg Chapman

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