George Floyd memorial: Messages of hope amid unrest as Minneapolis comes together

Carla Harmon
June 5, 2020

The video showed that officer using his knee to press Floyd's neck into the street for almost nine minutes while the 46-year-old victim gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, "please, I can't breathe".

A medical examiner's autopsy said Floyd's death was the result of a homicide under police restraint but said he had "significant" health conditions, including heart disease and recent drug use.

"It's time for us to stand up in George's name and say get your knee off our necks", said the 65-year-old Baptist minister. Pastor Bryant offered the benediction at the end of memorial as Floyd's family was being escorted out.

He said it is time for those in the USA justice system to stop "making excuses and empty promises".

Congressional Democrats on Thursday said that they plan to release a proposal on police accountability. But protests that began on the streets of Minneapolis quickly spread across the nation, calling for justice for Floyd and other African Americans who were killed by police.

A protester holds up a sign during a Black Lives Matter demonstration
A protester holds up a sign during a Black Lives Matter demonstration

The service drew the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Senator Amy Klobuchar and other members of Congress, including Reps.

In Buffalo, video from television station WBFO showed an officer appearing to shove a man who walked up to police while they were enforcing a nightly curfew.

"We have put a stop sign in front of America - there will be no more" unchecked killing by police, Jackson-Lee told The Associated Press. His last words, "I can't breathe", became a slogan for worldwide protests.

Hundreds of mourners in Minneapolis on Thursday remembered George Floyd, the black man whose death in police custody set off a wave of nationwide protests that reached the doors of the White House and ignited a debate about race and justice.

Sharpton made the announcement before King's eldest son, Martin Luther King III, and others assembled on the downtown campus of North Central University for the first of three services memorializing Floyd, the black man who was rendered motionless under the knee of a white police officer on May 25 and died that night.

The sanctuary normally seats 1000, but because of the coronavirus outbreak, the capacity was reduced to about 500, and many mourners wore masks, some with "I can't breathe" on them.

"All of us who know white privilege, we need to do more, because we don't even fully recognize the daily pain that the racism in this society causes", he said. They said he was also known by the other endearing nicknames such as "Georgie Porgie".

"George Floyd's story has been the story of Black folks".

Protesters in major cities across the US have spoken out about what they want to come of the demonstrations.

Among the celebrities in attendance were rappers T.I., Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, comedian Kevin Hart, and actresses Tiffany Haddish and Marsai Martin.

It's the first of three public memorials which will be held before he is buried on Tuesday in Houston, in Texas - that's where he grew up.

In Buffalo, N.Y., two officers, in a line of dozens walking to clear demonstrators near City Hall after curfew, shoved an unidentified man in an incident caught in graphic video. "When this is over don't go home and say 'I did my bit'".

"I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, our community and our state", Ellison said. Thao, 34, was seen in the cellphone video standing near a crowd of bystanders, and his complaint says although he fetched a hobble restraint - created to restrict the movement of a person in custody - from the squad vehicle, "the officers decided not to use it and maintained their positions".

"George Floyd should not be among the deceased", he said. "I'll welcome you where the wicked will cease from troubling you, where the tired will get rest. You just want us to suffer in silence".

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