'No justice, no peace': Protests, violence continue in Minneapolis, New York City, other US cities following George Floyd's death
Protests nationwide continued in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared a local emergency on Thursday.Hundreds of protesters flooded Minneapolis streets Thursday evening for a march through downtown. Traffic was halted as a crowd of people stretched for up to four blocks. Protesters shouted “I can’t breathe” and “no justice, no peace; prosecute the police” as volunteer marshals in highlighter-colored vests directed traffic.
MINNEAPOLIS – Counterfeit bills allegedly circulated in the neighborhood around Cup Foods before a reported $20 forgery led to George Floyd's death in police custody on Memorial Day.
"I've seen my share of counterfeit bills," said P.J. Hill, a resident of the neighborhood, community leader and member of the Worldwide Outreach for Christ Ministries across the intersection from Cup Foods, where the report of the fake bill was made to police.
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Two nearby business owners said they did not have a problem with counterfeits or know they were an issue.
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Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit bill to buy cigarettes at the convenience store last week. The clerk reported it to police, a step that management described as store policy in Facebook posts.
Four police officers arrived for what is now a notorious arrest, captured on video by bystanders. Police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, and Floyd was declared dead shortly thereafter.
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A week after George Floyd died in Minneapolis, daytime demonstrations focused on racism and police brutality are increasingly giving way to violence and chaos by night, fueling tensions over the direction of a protest movement that has unfurled in sprawling fashion across the country. A week after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, daytime demonstrations focused on racism and police brutality are increasingly giving way to violence and chaos by night, fueling tensions over the direction of a protest movement that has unfurled in sprawling fashion in dozens of cities across the United States.
His death was ruled a homicide. Chauvin and three other police officers were fired; Chauvin faces criminal charges.
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"It went from a counterfeit bill to a man being killed to millions of people around the nation just hurting," Hill said. "Then to people being angry and responding in a militant way and destroying, burning cities. Then to a grieving and trying to protest.
"You just think about that, all from a counterfeit bill," Hill said.
In Minnesota, the highest penalty for knowingly using counterfeit money less than $1,000 is up to one year in prison and a fine up to $3,000.
What happened to that bill?
Public officials have been mum on the location of the alleged counterfeit, citing investigations and lawsuits.
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Residents of the Garfield neighborhood say police pushed protesters onto their streets, and then began arresting residents.Elizabeth Lamay, 33, her boyfriend and her dogs were spending a quiet Sunday night on their porch in the Garfield neighborhood, just east of downtown Phoenix where hundreds of people had gathered for a protest denouncing police violence.
A spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department referred a reporter to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
"Under Minnesota law, the BCA is unable to discuss evidence or details of an open and active investigation," BCA Public Information Officer Jill Oliveira wrote in an email to USA TODAY.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will help prosecute Chauvin. Spokesman John Stiles said officials couldn't comment on investigative data.
What did the bill look like?
In the 911 transcript a Cup Foods clerk told the dispatcher, "Um, someone comes our store and give us fake bills and we realize it before he left the store, and we ran back outside, they was sitting on their car."
Angel Stately, a former employee and customer of the shop, told The New York Times she saw the bill and the ink was running on it. Stately could not be reached for additional comment.
Cup Foods owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh questioned whether Floyd even knew he used a counterfeit, in a statement posted on Facebook Sunday. He told TRT, a Turkish public broadcast service, that normally officers ask a few questions about counterfeits, "put it in a bag and take it."
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"As a check-cashing business, this is a routine practice for us: we report forged money, then the police come and ask patrons about the bill to trace its origin. Upon receiving a counterfeit bill from George Floyd, one of our employees called the police in accordance with this procedure," according to the statement on Facebook.
Abumayyaleh and the store's spokesman did not respond to messages seeking additional comment.
Abumayyaleh was not at the store during the incident, according to his statement. The business has been open for more than three decades, and Abumayyaleh expressed grief and outrage over what happened to Floyd: "There is no justification for the use of reckless force displayed by the police that murdered George Floyd."
Other issues with counterfeits?
Dalfonzo Credit described the alleged fake $20 bill as a "nudge" that pushed police over the edge. He lives in the area and said Floyd's death is not the first problem with the Minneapolis Police Department.
"It kind of feels like a drop in the bucket," Credit said. He's never seen a $20 counterfeit, but he's seen other fakes.
"Most stores are catching bills nowadays. It's never been a problem where the police have been called," he said.
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As President Trump seizes the slogan as an opportunity to paint his opposition as radical, Joe Biden and most Democrats float more modest measures to curtail bad police behavior. "Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement Monday, instead floating a boost in funding for police body cameras, community policing programs and diversification of law enforcement. "He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done.
Hamza Refaya, owner of Mill City Auto Body, less than a block north of Cup Foods, and his brother-in-law Moses Wazwaz said they have not had any issues with counterfeits or heard of any issues before Floyd's arrest and death.
Cubtan Nur runs a business a few doors south of Cup Foods called Axis Home PCA Agency, which does not rely on cash transactions. She's been there two years.
"This is the first time I'm hearing (about counterfeits)," Nur said.
To Hill, using fake bills is not right, but he understands why people with low incomes would use a counterfeit, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak when many have lost jobs and income.
Police lack that compassion, Hill said.
"I'm not saying don't police that, definitely need to police that," Hill said. "But police it in a different way. ... We need more compassion."
A protester kneels before Hampton police officers at Peninsula Town Center in Hampton, Va., on June 2, 2020 during a rally against police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Several individual were arrested at the scene.
Protesters march west on Broad Street as protests continue following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while in police custody after allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Derek Chauvin, one of four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's arrest, has himself been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. During the arrest, video footage showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe."
Pastor Vester Dock of New Hope Baptist Church in Freehold prays along with Freehold Borough Police Chief Craig W. Dispenza (blue shirt) and other officers outside the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold, NJ, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. People had gathered there to protest against the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.
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Protesters march through the streets of Miami, Florida on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The peaceful march started and ended at the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
A woman wearing angel wings and children walk near the Ohio Statehouse as protests continue following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while in police custody after allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Derek Chauvin, one of four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's arrest, has himself been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. During the arrest, video footage showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe."
Two women join hands as they hold matching signs during a protest in Old Town Square in response to the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, in Fort Collins, Colo. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
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Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. Michael Jackson shakes hands with Chris Buntin on Monday, June 1, 2020, at the intersection of South 26th Street and West Broadway in Louisville. Jackson and a handful of other officers marched with protestors from Jefferson Square to the intersection on West Broadway. Buntin said the action showed protestors a lot of respect and that Jackson cared about the situation.
Protesters walk on Main Street past an armored police vehicle outside the Hamilton County Courthouse in downtown Cincinnati on Monday, June 1, 2020. This is the fourth night of protests in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Patrick Brennan is detained by police along McMicken Avenue, Monday, June 1, 2020, in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. Demonstrators took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday, May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on his neck, ignoring Floyd's pleas that he could not breathe.
A protester bumps fists with an officer holding a line outside the Phoenix Police Department in downtown Phoenix June 1, 2020. People have been demonstrating for George Floyd, killed by police in Minnesota, and Dion Johnson, shot by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer in Phoenix.
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Ebri Yahloe, 26, of Columbus chants while sitting along High Street as protests continue following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died while in police custody after allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Derek Chauvin, one of four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's arrest, has himself been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. During the arrest, video footage showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe."
A man stands with his arms crossed before flash cans were set off in an attempt to send people home during a protest remembering George Floyd at Falls Park in Greenville, S.C. on Sunday. "Go home, the protest is over," a voice said over a loudspeaker on top of a police car slowly moving toward the crowd.
Detroit Police officers arrest protestors in downtown Detroit on Sunday, May 31, 2020 after they marched against police brutality and justice for George Floyd on the third day of protesting in Detroit.
Police use tear gas to clear away protesters who blocked Interstate 35 near the Austin Police Department Headquarters on Sunday May 31, 2020. Protesters continued to demonstrate against the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police.
People raise their fists while listening to a a person speak after marching along Miller Rd. in Flint Township, Mich. on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protestors marched to Flint Township Police Department Headquarters where they were met by officers in riot gear before getting the Genesee County Sheriff to agree to march with them.
Dzemila Hamzabegovic hugs Courtney Artis on Sunday, May 31, 2020, during a Black Lives Matter healing rally in front of KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. The two were complete strangers before the event and embraced as they were overcome with emotion. "For white people to think about us, it's powerful. It's emotional," Artis said. "Don't hurt us. We won't hurt you."
Rhonda Mathies, 69, of Louisville, gets down on her knees as she sings "We Shall Overcome" along with the crowd Sunday, May 31, 2020, during a Black Lives Matter healing rally in front of KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville.
The phrase "Say His Name," a reference to George Floyd, is seen spray painted on a building as protests continue following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.
Tear gas is sprayed outside the Metro Courthouse in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, May 30, 2020 during the “I Will Breathe” rally to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day.
One of two young women arrested is taken into custody by Cincinnati Police in riot gear as the march clashes with police at the intersection of 12th and Race Streets near Washington Park in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati on Saturday, May 30, 2020.
Protesters during a Black Lives Matter march and rally on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at Houdini Plaza in Appleton, Wis. Protests have been happening across the country this week, after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed Monday by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck while arresting him.
Protesters are sprayed with pepper spray by Detroit police officers in riot gear in downtown after an afternoon march and rally against police brutality extended into the evening and became contentious on Friday, May 29, 2020 in Detroit.
Marcus Lavon of Des Moines raises his hands during a protest on Friday, May 29, 2020, in Des Moines. The protests were a response to the recent death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.
Protesters clash with Des Moines police during a protest on Friday, May 29, 2020, in Des Moines. The protests were a response to the recent death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.
After a peaceful march Friday, May 29, 2020, in Atlanta, the Georgia State Capitol that swelled with protestors returned to the area around the Centennial Olympic Park and CNN center where some confronted police, who sprayed some demonstrators with pepper spray. They carried signs and chanted their messages of outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Demonstrators leave Centennial Olympic Park after a demonstration and march on the streets, Friday, May 29, 2020 in Atlanta. Protests were organized in cities around the United States following the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis.
Denver police use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a protest May 28 outside the state Capitol over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody in Minneapolis. Almost 1,000 protesters walked from the Capitol down the 16th Street pedestrian mall during the protest.
Protesters take to Union Avenue, shutting it down to traffic, in protest of recent violence against black citizens by police departments around the county on Wednesday night, May 27, 2020, in Midtown Memphis.
Protesters clash with police during a rally against the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 28, 2020 in Union Square in New York City. Floyd's death was captured in video that went viral of the incident. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard today as looting broke out in St. Paul.
NYPD officers arrest a protestor during a "Black Lives Matter" demonstration on May 28, 2020 in New York City, in outrage over the death of a black man in Minnesota who died after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Concern and anger over George Floyd's death spread around the country. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the video footage showed there was no excuse for his death."We saw a murder take place before our very eyes. And so the fact that the officers were fired, that's one thing, but there has to be some justice in all of this," she said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What we know about George Floyd's death and alleged counterfeit money in Minneapolis
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