Businessman Michael Patrick Aboud, who was charged last year with firearm and drug possession, caused outrage on social media yesterday after posting that protesters in the United States were using the George Floyd police killing as an excuse “to do what comes natural” to them.
“Burning and looting is not protest for any good. They use the Floyd matter to do what comes natural. An excuse,” Aboud wrote on his Facebook page at 4.40 p.m. on Sunday.
Hundreds of commenters and those who shared the post deemed it racist.
Aboud subsequently removed the post. Responding to criticism on another Facebook user’s page, he said his post did not mention any race.
“I’m not dealing with a race issue in my post. I’m dealing with the destruction of lives and property,” he argued.
But this did little to assuage the flared tempers. Some commenters vowed to boycott any business Aboud and his family own.
“Shame on you Michael Patrick Aboud and all the others who ‘love’ your status,” one person commented.
“Here comes so-called prominent businessman in Trinidad Michael Patrick Aboud with his horrific words, about looting is natural to us people, but when you got locked up for firearms and drugs last year that wasn’t natural, right? Black people spend their money in your stores and you are a racist,” another stated.
Aboud could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.
While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the city street during the arrest, a police officer kept his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck for several minutes while two others restrained his legs and back.
One other officer stood guard as onlookers pleaded for his intervention.
During the ordeal, Floyd, who was unarmed, repeatedly exclaimed that he could not breathe. He subsequently died.