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Corner stores can be hotspots for violence in majority-Black neighborhoods. Here's how one faith-based organization is working to change that.

Corner stores can be hotspots for violence in majority-Black neighborhoods. Here's how one faith-based organization is working to change that.
Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images



Immigrant-owned corner stores in low-income majority-Black neighborhoods have often been sites of conflict and police violence.




Business Insider spoke with Shamar Hemphill, deputy director of the Inner-city Muslim Action Network, or IMAN, which works largely with Arab American corner store owners to deter conflict and avoid situations like the one that led to the police killing of George Floyd.




On May 25, police were called to corner store owned by a Palestinian American after Floyd was suspected of trying to use counterfeit money. Floyd later died in custody after a police officer knelt on his neck.




IMAN builds relationships by facilitating conversations between Arab American store owners and residents of Black-majority neighborhoods.




Hemphill emphasized IMAN's faith-based approach, which involves applying principles from Islam towards investing in the community and advocating for restorative justice.




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The corner store clerk was new.
If he'd known owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh's policy not to call the police over counterfeit cash, George Floyd would likely still be alive. But on May 25, the clerk called police when he suspected Floyd of using counterfeit money. Later Floyd died in custody after a police officer knelt on his neck.
Abumayyaleh, a Palestinian American, has since spoken out against Floyd's death and in support of Black Lives Matter, and many corner stores that operate in majority-Black neighborhoods have similar policies to Abumayyaleh's.
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