Fact check: Mahmoud Abumayyaleh did not call the police on George Floyd

An image on social media makes the claim that store owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh called the police on George Floyd for attempting to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit bill. This claim is false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

It comes amid protests across the United States over the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis.

Examples of the claim can be seen here and here . The posts show the name and photograph of Mahmoud Abumayyaleh and say: “Meet the man who called the police on George Floyd because of an alleged $20 fake bill.”

Abumayyaleh, the owner of Cup Foods, has stated in several interviews that he was not present when George Floyd entered the convenience store and paid for cigarettes with what staff suspected was a counterfeit $20 bill. He said it was another employee who called the police ( here , here ).

A witness who came into the store soon afterwards told The New York Times the person who placed the call was a teenaged clerk who “was feeling bad; he had called the police, he told her, only because it was protocol” ( here ).

“If I would have been here the authorities would not have been called,” Abumayyaleh told The Cut ( here ). “George Floyd may still be alive.”

Abumayyaleh has offered condolences to Floyd’s family on Facebook and demanded justice for the police violence that took place outside his store ( here ).


False. Mahmoud Abumayyaleh did not call the police on George Floyd.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .