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Professor says his arrest over fake bill was different to George Floyd's due to 'white privilege'

A professor has said his 'white privilege' meant his own arrest for trying to pay with a counterfeit $20 bill is 'a story I sometimes tell at parties' while for black man George Floyd it was a 'death sentence'. 

Mark McCoy, a white man and an archaeologist and associate professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was arrested in Massachusetts in 1994 for the same charge as Floyd - allegedly spending with a fake $20 bill.

McCoy, then a white 18-year-old, spent a night in jail, the charge was dropped after a six-month probationary period and he went on to be a successful university professor.

Floyd, a black 46-year-old, was killed during his arrest when a white cop knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he begged him to stop and said 'I can't breathe'. 

Mark McCoy (left pictured now) was arrested in Massachusetts in 1994 for the same charge as George Floyd (right) - allegedly spending with a fake $20 bill. McCoy spent a night in jail and the charge was dropped after six months while Floyd was killed during his arrest

McCoy, now 44, broke his silence on social media on Monday to share his story, pointing out how his 'white privilege' led to very different outcomes for the two men. 

'George Floyd and I were both arrested for allegedly spending a counterfeit $20 bill,' he tweeted.

'For George Floyd, a man my age, with two kids, it was a death sentence. For me, it is a story I sometimes tell at parties. That, my friends, is White privilege. ' 

McCoy's Tweet has gone viral with almost two million likes and almost 600,000 retweets, with people commenting on how the case highlights the racism and prejudice that black people continue to face.  

The white professor, who lives in Floyd's home state of Texas, said news of Floyd's death in police custody while he was being arrested on the same charges 'hit [him] like a ton of bricks'.

'My wife was kind of chiming in with things that she had read. And then our daughter, who's 12, said he was arrested for allegedly using a fake $20 bill,' he told Dallas Morning News. 

'And that just hit me like a ton of bricks.'

He said his experience was little more than an 'interesting story'.

McCoy, now 44, broke his silence on social media Monday to share his story, pointing out how his 'white privilege' led to very different outcomes for the two men

'I genuinely have told that story of being arrested a lot of times because it's an interesting story,' he told Dallas Morning News.  

McCoy, who said he hasn't been arrested since, was detained when he used a counterfeit bill to pay for batteries at a convenience store and then used the change at a fast-food restaurant.

He recounted how when he left the restaurant, police officers picked him up.   

He maintains he didn't know the bill he had used was fake and that anyone could accidentally use counterfeit money.

'I'm kind of a goody two-shoes. At the time, I was the last guy you would guess would run afoul of the law,' he told Dallas Morning News. 

'This could happen to anyone.'

McCoy added that his grandfather was a cop, which he also thinks helped him pass through the criminal justice system unscathed.

'The reason I didn't resist arrest and the thing went the way it did is very much about my white privilege,' he told Dallas Morning News.

'It's very much about who my grandfather was and how I walk through the world, and my expectations.' 

The white professor's story shows the shocking differences between how two men - one white, one black - were treated by officers and the criminal justice system over the same alleged offence. 

Floyd, a 46-year-old black father of two, (left) was killed in Minneapolis last Monday when a white police officer (right) knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite him repeatedly begging for the cop to stop and saying 'I can't breathe'. The cop Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with murder but three other officers involved continue to walk free 

Floyd's roommate has spoken out insisting that the black man would not have known the bill he used was a fake either.  

Alvin Manago, 55, exclusively told DailyMail.com that Floyd was a stand-up guy and if he did use a counterfeit bill at the store before his death, it was 'unintentional'.

'I've never known Floyd to use any counterfeit money. If he tried to pass along a counterfeit $20 bill it was unintentional,' Manago said. 

'He probably didn't know the money was fake.'

McCoy said he shared his story to try to 'humanize' the issue for white people. 

'You know, black and brown people already see Mr. Floyd as a human,' he added. 

'You don't need to humanize him for people of color. But you do for white people... I hope this [Twitter post] did a little bit.'

Floyd's death at the hands of white cop Derek Chauvin has sparked mass protests across America - and other parts of the world - as people demand justice and an end to police brutality and racism against African-American men. 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said he will attend the funeral of Floyd and vowed to 'heal the racial wounds' if he gets into power at the White House.   

'I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country – not use them for political gain,' the ex-vice president pledged at Philadelphia's City Hall Tuesday. 

However, some officials and leaders continue to insist that racism is not an issue with NYPD Chief of Department Monahan telling CBS This Morning Tuesday that while he understands the anger over Floyd’s death, he does not believe racism exists in the police force in the Big Apple.

'I don't believe racism plays a role in New York. I can only speak for what I've seen in New York City,' Monahan said.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has focused his attentions on blasting the 'thugs' rioting and looting stores and threatening them with violent action, tweeting 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts'.  

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