The family of George Floyd have paid a series of emotional tributes to him at his funeral, as well as leading calls for an end to global racial injustice.
Huge crowds descended on the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas yesterday (June 9) after Floyd’s body was returned to his hometown ahead of him being laid to rest next to his mother.
Addressing mourners at the service, Floyd’s brother Rodney said: “Third Ward, Cuney Homes, that’s where he was born at. But everybody is going to remember him around the world. He is going to change the world.”
Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 when white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, with footage of the incident being viewed by millions of people across the globe.
George Floyd’s niece demands justice in passionate funeral eulogy:
“This is not just murder, but a hate crime.” pic.twitter.com/RuL1kTYmFO
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 9, 2020
Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three of his colleagues, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Keung, are all facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Brooke Williams, who is Floyd’s niece, told the congregation: “[As] long as I’m breathing, justice will be served.”
Delivering the eulogy, civil rights activist Al Sharpton also called for an end to racial inequality.
“Man comes out of a single parent home, educates himself and rises up and becomes the President of the United States, and you ask him for his birth certificate, because you can’t take your knee off our neck.”
Al Sharpton delivers the eulogy at the memorial for George Floyd. pic.twitter.com/khjyIqBMkQ
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) June 5, 2020
He said: “Lives like George’s will not matter until somebody pays the cost for taking their lives.
“All over the world I’ve seen grandchildren of slave masters tearing down slave master statues.”
The funeral was also marked across the US with moments of silence on national radio stations, while traders at the New York stock exchange paused for eight minutes and 46 seconds to mark the length of time Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd.