Why Was George Floyd Arrested? Police Release 911 Call That Led to His Death

Following the death of George Floyd, who died shortly after being arrested on Monday, the Minneapolis Police Department have released a transcript of the 911 call that led to his arrest.

The call to the police was made by an employee of Cup Foods, outside of where the arrest would take place, after Floyd reportedly presented a counterfeit $20 bill to the cashier.

The caller was reported to have told the 911 operator that "someone [Floyd] 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," according to the transcript further below.

The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four officers involved in the incident this week but no charges have been filed in Floyd's death. A federal investigation was launched Thursday in addition to one already being done by Minnesota authorities.

Transcript of the 911 call

Operator: 911 what's the address of the emergency?

Caller: This is ah 3759 Chicago AV.

Operator: How can I help you?

Caller: 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. We tell them to give us their phone, put their (inaudible) thing back and everything and he was also drunk and everything and return to give us our cigarettes back and so he can, so he can go home but he doesn't want to do that, and he's sitting on his car cause he is awfully drunk and he's not in control of himself.

Operator: Okay, what type of vehicle does he have?

Caller: And... um he's got a vehicle that is ah...ah he got a vehicle that is ah one second let me see if I can see the license. The driver license is BRJ026.

Operator: Okay, what color is it?

Caller: It's a blue color. It's a blue van.

Operator: Blue van?

Caller: Yes, van.

Operator: Alright blue van, gotcha. Is it out front or is it on 38th ST?

Caller: Ah it's on 38th ST.

Operator: On 38th ST. So, this guy gave a counterfeit bill, has your cigarettes, and he's under the influence of something?

Caller: Something like that, yes. He is not acting right.

Operator: What's he look like, what race?

Caller: Um, he's a tall guy. He's like tall and bald, about like 6...6 1/2, and she's not acting right so and she started to go, drive the car.

Operator: Okay so, female or a male?

Caller: Um...

Operator: Is it a girl or a boy?

Caller: (Talking to somebody else)—he's asking (inaudible) one second. Hello?

Operator: Is it a girl or a boy that did this?

Caller: It is a man.

Operator: Okay. Is he white, black, Native, Hispanic, Asian?

Caller: Something like that.

Operator: Which one? White, black, Native, Hispanic, Asian?

Caller: No, he's a black guy.

Operator: Alright (sigh).

Caller: How is your day going?

Operator: Not too bad.

Caller: Had a long day, huh?

Operator: What's your name?

Caller: My name is REDACTED

Operator: Alright, a phone number for you?


Operator: Alright, I've got help on the way. If that vehicle or that person leaves before we get there, just give us a call back, otherwise we'll have squads out there shortly, okay?

Caller: No problem.

Operator: Thank you.

The death of Floyd following the arrest has sparked outrage, with several protests breaking out in cities across the country, including in New York City, where more than 40 people have been following clashes between demonstrators and the police.

Earlier this week, police claimed in a statement that Floyd "physically resisted officers" during the arrest, but surveillance video from the Dragon Wok, a restaurant near Cup Foods, was reported to have contradicted this claim.

Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, the co-owner of Cup Foods, told CNN: "After one of our staff identified the $20 bill was fake, Floyd was actually out of the establishment and outside [of the store]. My staff called the police, doing a practice protocol. And when the police arrived, Floyd was still outside and that's when they [police] approached him."

A family member of Floyd "approached one of the officers asking him [the officer] to take his knee off his neck because he [Floyd] could not breathe. But he [the officer] pushed him over the curb and pushed him again past the curb, as it shows on the [surveillance] video," Abumayyaleh said.

Abumayyaleh reviewed his shop's surveillance video after Floyd's death and told CNN "What I've seen was devastating, it was heartbreaking and our condolences go to the family and friends of George Floyd."

Abumayyaleh confirmed he saw no resistance from Floyd in his shop's surveillance video.

Speaking to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said: "Thank you for the offer for the BCA to comment, but we must respectfully decline due to the active and ongoing investigation."

Newsweek has contacted the Minneapolis Police Department and the office of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey for a comment.

Police car in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2020
A police car drives by as protesters clash with police while demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Getty Images