The funeral for George Floyd – the man in whose name renewed the 'Black Lives Matter' movement across nations – was held at a Houston church on Tuesday, following which he was laid to rest next to the grave of his mother, Larcenia Floyd.
More than 500 mourners wearing masks to prevent coronavirus packed a Houston church a little more than two weeks after Floyd was pinned to the pavement by a white Minneapolis police officer who put a knee on his neck for what prosecutors said was 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
His killing sparked huge international protests and outcry. Thousands of people have been coming out on the streets in the US in support of Floyd, whose last words, ‘I can’t breathe’, have been used as a rally cry during the protests.
‘Everyone Will Remember Floyd’
“Third Ward, Cuney Homes, that’s where he was born at,” Floyd’s brother, Rodney, told mourners at the Fountain of Praise church. “But everybody is going to remember him around the world. He is going to change the world,” reported the Associated Press.
The funeral capped six days of mourning for Floyd in three cities: Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born; Houston, where he grew up; and Minneapolis, where he died. The memorials have drawn the families of other black victims whose names have become familiar in the debate over race and justice — among them, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin.
‘Say His Name, George Floyd’
After the service, Floyd’s golden casket was taken by hearse to the cemetery in the Houston suburb of Pearland where he was to be entombed next to his mother, whose name he shouted as he lay dying.
The Fountain of Praise Church in southern Houston was filled with joyous music and words of fond remembrance for a kind and gifted man.
Hundreds of people, some chanting, “Say his name, George Floyd,” gathered along the procession route and outside the cemetery entrance in the mid-90s heat.
“George Floyd changed the world. And we are going to make the world know that he made a difference,” Al Green, the local US congressman, told the congregation, reported AFP.
“We have a responsibility to each one of them to make sure that we do not walk away today after having celebrated his life and not taking the next step... to assure the future generations that this won’t happen again,” he added.
Meanwhile, Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Department officer who knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, was charged with murder. According to The New York Times, his bail was set at up to $1.25 million on Monday, 8 June.
The city councillors of United State's Minneapolis on Sunday, said that the police department will be dismantled and rebuilt, news agency AFP reported.
"We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe," Council President Lisa Bender had told CNN.
(With inputs from AP, AFP, CNN, NYT and Al Jazeera)
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