George Floyd — Houston Memorial Draws Thousands

  • Floyd was remembered as a loving brother, father, musician, former student athlete, and a mentor who inspired young men at Cuney Homes
  • “God does a lot of things, but he doesn’t do mistakes,” his sister said. “He had a mission for my brother.”
  • This was the third memorial service in honor of Floyd.

Thousands of mourners from across the US gathered in Houston for the last memorial service for George Floyd, a victim of police brutality. Floyd died on May 25 after being pinned down by the knee by a white police officer. There was a public viewing of the body before the service began.

George Floyd was an unarmed African-American man who died on May 25, 2020, after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes while other officers helped restrain Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota United States. Floyd’s death has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who repeated “I can’t breathe” while being suffocated by arresting officers.

In his hometown, Floyd was remembered as a loving brother, father, musician, former student athlete, and a mentor who inspired young men at Cuney Homes, a housing project in Houston’s Third Ward, where he urged them to quit violence.

Floyd’s elder sister, ZsaZsa, said her brother had a good spirit, adding she couldn’t believe that she will never hear her brother’s voice again. “God does a lot of things, but he doesn’t do mistakes,” she said. “He had a mission for my brother.”

“We’re paying our respects, but there’s no respect for the black man,” one of the mourners said. “The kids are worried about whether they’ll be the next George Floyd. I’m worried about being the next George Floyd.” The mourners wore masks and had gloves in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

This was the third memorial service in honor of Floyd. The first one was held in Minneapolis on Thursday, June 4, while the second one was held on Saturday in Raeford, North Carolina, his birth place.

In the first memorial, the family eulogized him as a gentle soul with a commanding presence and expressed their gratitude for the love that the public had shown for him. At the end of the ceremony, the people were urged to observe moments of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the duration that the police officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for mercy.

During Floyd’s second memorial service, in Raeford, Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said that law enforcement officers across the country “are part of the problem.”

“We as law enforcement officers don’t have the authority to bully, push people around and kill them because we have on a badge and a gun. . . It’s got to change. We keep talking, we keep talking, we keep talking until it happens again. . . Enough of talking. Don’t let the life of George Floyd be in vain.”

The George Floyd protests are an ongoing series of protests and demonstrations against police brutality and racism in policing. The unrest began as local protests in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota before quickly spreading across the entire nation and internationally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a horrifying video, Chauvin pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest. The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media. It showed Floyd helpless, asking the police not to kill him. Floyd said several times, “I can’t breathe!”

The officer is then heard telling him to relax he continues to pin him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” Floyd cries out. “[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. . . I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In the footage witnesses are heard pleading with the police to let go the man but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

All four Minneapolis police officers were fired on May 26, following a video on Floyd’s last moments that went viral. Chauvin, who had Floyd pinned down on his knee, faces second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. The other three— Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao— face the charges of aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.

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Juliet Norah

I am a freelance journalist is passionate about news. I derive pleasure in informing people about the happenings in the world

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