George Floyd Funeral: Family and Friends Pay Their Last Respects
Impassioned pleas for racial justice have been heard at the funeral of George Floyd, an African American whose death in police custody spawned global outrage.
Speakers in the church in Houston, Texas, lined up to remember a man whose “crime was that he was born black”.
George Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis last month as a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, his final moments filmed on phones.
Four police officers involved have been sacked and charged over his death.
George Floyd’s coffin was taken from the church driven in a motorcade to the Houston Memorial Gardens where he was to be buried beside his mother.
One of George Floyd’s nieces, Brooke Williams, called for a change in laws which, she argued, were designed to disadvantage black people.
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Joe Biden addressed the service in a video message saying: “When there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America.”
The Democratic presidential candidate has sharply criticized President Trump, accusing himat the weekend of making “despicable” speculative remarks about George Floyd.
The service was held at the Fountain of Praise church, attended by some 500 guests including politicians and celebrities.
“George Floyd was not expendable – this is why we’re here,” said Al Green, the local Democratic congressman.
“His crime was that he was born black.”
Veteran civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton told the service: “All over the world I see grandchildren of slave masters tearing down slave masters’ statues.”
Talking about George Floyd’s difficult life, he said: “God took the rejected stone and made him the cornerstone of a movement that’s gonna change the whole wide world.”
In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz called on people to honor the funeral by observing silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time George Floyd was pinned to the ground before he died.
George Floyd’s coffin was taken to a cemetery in Pearland, south of Houston, for a private burial ceremony. For the last mile of the procession it was conveyed in a horse-drawn carriage.
Barriers were erected along the route to allow members of the public to pay their respects safely as the procession passed.
George Floyd’s body was on display at the church for six hours on June 8.