CNN Transcript: Store Owner Explains Why Police Were Called On George Floyd

  So, we are learning more about this alleged counterfeiting at a local convenience store, Cup Foods, that got police involved. Tonight, the owner said that they're being targeted with death threats. 

So, I’m joined by Mahmoud Abumayyaleh who goes by Mike. And he owns Cup Foods with his three brothers. And Jamar Nelson who runs their media relations. 

I’m so glad that you guys are here. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. 

So, Mike, as we saw what was happening there, these pictures of what's going on in this area, it’s a terrible scene to watch. 

This whole tragic incident began after a staff member confronted George Floyd when he tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill. 

Can you give us more details about what happened? 

MAHMOUD ABUMAYYALEH, CO-OWNER, CUP FOODS:  After one of our staff identified the $20 bill was fake, Floyd was actually out of the establishment and outside. My staff called the police, doing practice protocol, and the police arrived. Floyd was still outside, and that's when they approached him. 

LEMON:  Yes. So, just -- I want to make sure we get all of this correct. A family member later witnessed a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck, tried to intervene. Tell us about what he saw. 

ABUMAYYALEH:  He approached one of the officers, asking him to take his knee off his neck because he could not breathe. He pushed him over the curve and pushed him, again, past the curve as it shows on the video. 

LEMON:  So, Mike, new video is out today that appears to show Floyd didn't resist, at least the video that we have seen. We're awaiting now the body cam video. It has been released. We -- CNN is reviewing it now. 

But the video that we saw, this surveillance video, didn't resist arrest as the police described. You said that you’ve been asked by investigators not to release your surveillance video publicly. But have you been able to look at this surveillance video? 

ABUMAYYALEH:  I did view it on Tuesday after the -- after the death of Floyd. 

LEMON:  And? 

ABUMAYYALEH:  And what I seen was devastating. It was very heartbreaking. And our condolences go to the family and friends of George Floyd. 

LEMON:  Did you see resistance? 


LEMON:  On the video tape that you have, your surveillance video, you see no resistance from George Floyd? 

ABUMAYYALEH:  Our camera angle shows exactly what was recorded as the outside bystander. What I seen is exactly what you're seeing. 

LEMON:  You say there's been a backlash and threats against your family and the store. What do you want -- what do you want to say to people who are angry right now and they are lashing out? 

As I said, I understand the anger. I don't understand the actions of looting and destroying property. 

What do you want to say to people who are lashing out? 

ABUMAYYALEH:  Although we have a village of supporters behind us, people that have known us for the 31 years that we've been there for, there's a small percentage of people that are angry and want answers. And we understand that.

But let’s -- let's take that anger towards the people that took the action against the individual that was -- that was (AUDIO GAP) and let's take that anger and use it towards bridging and fixing the problem in our system that is causing minorities in this country to get killed and now nothing is being done about it and justice is not being served. 

LEMON:  Jamar, I want to bring you in. 

The store has been a part of the community now, as Mike said, for 31 years. These protests are very heated tonight. 

Are you worried that this anger could boil over and cause more injuries and death? 

JAMAR NELSON, MEDIA RELATIONS, CUP FOODS:  Well, absolutely. But, again, I think that what we have to focus on is the fact that these officers are still at home and not treated as I would be treated if I had killed someone, arrested. They’re going (INAUDIBLE) but they should be arrested. There should be a bail for them. And that didn't happen. 

Now, the expeditious firing of them, I respect and I commend our chief. That took a lot of gumption because the police chief -- excuse me, the police union, Bob Crowe (ph), is a pit bull. He will fight for them to get their jobs back. 

Our focus has to be on the fact that these individuals have to be arrested for murder. This was execution of Mr. Floyd. 

And the call may have emanated from our establishment that ultimately led to the police being called, but the focus, again, has to be on the fact that these cops when they came out, they went above and beyond what they should have done. 

Normally, when there's a counterfeit bill or something that comes in, a document that comes into the establishment, the police is called and the police come in, take the bill, take the document, write a citation, and move around. For some reason, that didn't happen in this case. 

And so, for that, we are simply sorry. But the fact is these police officers went above and beyond what they should have done and it led to his death. And that's what we need to be focused on. 

LEMON:  Jamar, thank you. Mike, thank you. All of you, be safe. And again, we appreciate you joining us here on CNN. Thanks so much.