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Mon Oct 12, 2020, 09:16 AM


The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd


Shortly after 8 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 25, Mahmoud “Mike” Abumayyaleh got a panicked phone call from a teenage employee at the store he owns with his three brothers. “Mike! Mike! They’re killing him,” she said. “My heart dropped. Like, it fell to the ground,” Mahmoud told me. He had no clue what she was talking about. At first, he assumed a customer was accosting a worker.

Frantically, his employee explained what was happening: A police officer had pinned a customer to the ground outside the store, and that man was saying he couldn’t breathe. Mahmoud manages the day shift at CUP Foods at the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in southern Minneapolis, but that night, young employees were working the store alone. There’d been a brief confrontation with a man accused of passing a fake bill. Then an 18-year-old clerk dialed 911. The man was named George Floyd, and minutes later, a cop was kneeling on his neck.

By the afternoon after Floyd’s killing, CUP Foods’ voicemail box was full. As the day wore on, a devastated and furious group began to gather at the intersection. They chanted, prayed, and consoled one another. Outside the shop, numbers swelled into the thousands.

In the months that followed, the intersection would become a fortress of grief and protest with sculptures, murals, and constant visitors. Armed groups would patrol the area, and police would stay on the other side of barricades. The store would be vandalized repeatedly, with “FUCK CUP FOODS” spray-painted on the exterior. Even longtime customers would question whether it ever deserved to reopen. The Abumayyaleh brothers would fret over lowball offers to buy them out after Friday prayers at the mosque in the store’s basement and struggle to imagine a future for a family business with a complicated past.

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Reply The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd (Original post)
NorthOf270 Oct 2020 OP
marble falls Oct 2020 #1

Response to NorthOf270 (Original post)

Mon Oct 12, 2020, 01:08 PM

1. Really, well worth the read. Totally good and informative.

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