- His niece, Brooke Williams, remembered Floyd as a person who was spiritually grounded.
- Rev. Sharpton remembered Floyd as an ordinary person who changed the world.
- Floyd was buried next to his mother, whom he called out for in his last moments on earth.
Thousands gathered at Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas to bid their last farewell to George Floyd, a victim of police brutality. Family, politicians, civil rights activists and celebrities shared fond memories of the “gentle giant.” Floyd died on May 25, after a white police officer pinned him down with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Since then, there has been widespread anti-racism protests across cities in the US and all over the world. During the speeches at the church, Floyd was eulogized as a great brother, an athlete, a role model, and hardworking person.
His niece, Brooke Williams, remembered Floyd as a person who was spiritually grounded. In an emotional speech, Williams added that as long as she could breathe, justice will surely be served.
“Until we know the price for black life is the same as the price for white life, we’re going to keep coming back to these situations,” civil rights leader, Rev. Al Sharpton, said. Rev. Sharpton remembered Floyd as an ordinary person who changed the world. “God took the rejected stone and made him the cornerstone of a movement that is going to change the whole wide world,” he added.
“Your family is going to miss you George, but your nation is going to always remember your name. Because your neck was one that represents all of us, and how you suffered is how we all suffer,” Sharpton added.
After the church service at Fountain of Praise, Floyd’s body was carried by a white horse-driven carriage for a mile to his final resting place. The body was escorted by the Houston Police Department into Houston memorial gardens. People lined up as the carriage passed as they chanted “say his name,” and “George Floyd.”
Floyd was buried next to his mother, whom he called out for in his last moments on earth. “You called for mama. We’re going to lay your body next to hers,” Sharpton said. “But I know mama’s already embraced you, George. You fought a good fight. You kept the faith. You finished your course. Go on and get your rest now. Go on and see mama now. We’re going to fight on.”
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.
Floyd’s case is similar to Eric Garner’s, a black man who was unarmed and was killed in 2014 in New York. Garner was placed in a police chokehold, and pleaded for his life. Garner uttered the same phrase as Floyd: “I can’t breathe.” The police officer involved in Garner’s case was fired after the investigations were completed.
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.