- The service was filled with prayers and songs, and one of his uncles sang an emotional song, “I Won’t Complain.”
- Rev. Dr. Christopher Stackhouse said that the death of Floyd brought about protests that have sparked talks about racism.
- The public officials who attended the service said that they are ready for change.
Thousands of people, including family, public officials, and the clergy, attend the memorial service for George Floyd at his birthplace of Raeford, North Carolina. The 46 year-old African American died after a white officer pinned him down using his knee. His body lay in a golden casket.
The service was filled with prayers and songs, and one of his uncles sang an emotional song, “I Won’t Complain.” People formed two lines outside the church, and as the hearse that carried Floyd’s body arrived, they chanted “Black Power,” “George Floyd,” and “no justice, no peace!” Before the service, thousands were allowed to view the body.
Rev. Dr. Christopher Stackhouse said that the death of Floyd brought about protests that have sparked talks about racism. “A movement is happening today and George Floyd sparked that fuel,” Stackhouse said. “Perry Junior is what they called him and he sparked the fuel that is going to change this nation.”
The public officials who attended the service said that they are ready for change. “We’re ready to usher in a new era of trust and justice and end this pandemic of racism in America,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). 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.”
This was the second memorial service in honor of George Floyd. The first one was held in Minneapolis on Thursday, while another one is scheduled for Monday in Houston before he is laid to rest on Tuesday. 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 a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the duration that police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for mercy.
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.
Former president Barack Obama has also added his voice to the murder of the African-American. He encouraged the protesters while talking about police reforms. “I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter,” he said.
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!”