Cup Foods, a Minneapolis Corner Store Forever Tied to the Death of George Floyd


The first man handed the bill to an older employee who had worked at the shop for several years and used a special marker to determine that the bill was counterfeit, Mr. Abumayyaleh said. The employee refused the sale and handed the bill back to the man, who left.

A few minutes later, Mr. Floyd walked in and gave a $20 bill to a teenage clerk, who did not immediately recognize the bill as fake. After a machine scan determined that the bill was counterfeit, the young clerk followed Mr. Floyd outside, asking him to return the items he had bought, but he refused, according to a transcript of the clerk’s call to 911.

“He’s only been in the States for about a year,” Mr. Abumayyaleh said of the teenage clerk, who is no longer working at the store. “It’s his first time probably ever calling the police.”

Mr. Abumayyaleh, who is Palestinian-American and has spent all of his 35 years in Minneapolis, said he had left the store about three hours before the killing. It had been a busy day, like most Mondays, Mr. Abumayyaleh recalled, but he was used to that. The store had always been in his family, and by age 10, he was helping out behind the counter. By 15, he was working there full time.

That night, just after 8 p.m., an employee called Mr. Abumayyaleh, crying and screaming, saying, “they’re killing him,” he recalled. He said he told the employee to record the scene and “to call the police on the police.”

Since then, Mr. Abumayyaleh said, he has been bombarded with hateful messages. He asked a member of a local violence prevention group to serve as a spokesman and issued a public statement condemning Mr. Floyd’s killing and saying that the store supported the protesters and shared their rage.



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