Minneapolis, Minnesota: Friends, family, celebrity, activist and the community attended a memorial service on Thursday, June 4th, 2020 to remember and say goodbye to George Floyd.
Picture: ABC affiliate KSTP-TV Channel 5 (Courtesy):
The private two-hour memorial service took place at North Central University’s Trask Worship Center near Downtown Minneapolis.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter attended the memorial service along with a number of other local leaders, including U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar.
As people filed into the sanctuary for the memorial service, hundreds of people gathered in a nearby park to listen to the memorial service over the loudspeakers well many across the nation watched the memorial service televised on television and online.
During the memorial service, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was seen openly weeping as he knelt in front of George Floyd’s casket to pay his respects.
Reverend Al Sharpton delivered a powerful eulogy during the memorial service for George Floyd, in which he metaphorically compared racial inequalities in the country to having a “knee on our neck.”
“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks, because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being, is you kept your knee on our neck,” said Reverend Al Sharpton.
Reverend Al Sharpton than passionately told those in attendance, “We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our neck. We could run corporations and not hustle in the street, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills. We could do whatever anybody else could do. But we couldn’t get your knee off our neck.”
Several members of George Floyd’s extended family spoke at the memorial service, describing what the George’s family house was like growing up, sharing stories about George’s sense of humor and talking about how George helped raise a fatherless household in Houston.
“He was teaching us how to be a man because he was in this world before us,” said Rodney, George’s youngest brother.
Shareeduh Tate, Floyd’s cousin, said during the memorial service, “No matter who you talked to, they will all say the same thing, that George was somebody who was always welcoming, always made people feel like they were special. Nobody felt left out. When he would enter into a room, everybody would feel as though they were special. He would embrace them.”
The attorney representing George Floyd’s family, Benjamin Crump delivered an address at the memorial service, vowing for justice for George Floyd, and told attendees that Floyd was able to survive COVID-19, but could not survive what he called the “pandemic” of racism in America.
“I want to just put it on the record that it was not the coronavirus pandemic that killed George Floyd. I want to make it clear on the record, we’ll pack it in with that other pandemic that we’re far too familiar with in America, that pandemic of racism and discrimination that killed George Floyd,” said Benjamin Crump.
Later during the memorial service, Benjamin Crump made a powerful proclamation: “Do not cooperate with evil—protest against evil,” and referred to the young people in the streets “protesting against the evil, the inhumane, the torture, that they witness on the video.”
“We cannot cooperate with evil, we cannot cooperate with injustice, we cannot cooperate with torture,” said Benjamin Crump as memorial attendees stood up from their chairs to applause.
“George Floyd deserves better than that, we all deserve better than that, his family deserves better than that, his children deserve better than that,“ said Benjamin Crump.
Picture: Fox affiliate KMSP-TV Channel 9 (Courtesy):
Following his eulogy, the Reverend Al Sharpton asked attendees to stand in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to remember Floyd—the same amount of time Floyd spent on the ground with now-fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee in his neck.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and other police officers kneeled as the hearse carrying George Floyd’s casket passed on its way to the memorial service at North Central University’s Trask Worship Center.
Dr. Scott Hagen, the president of North Central University in Minneapolis, announced the creation of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship at Floyd’s memorial service, and urged every college in the United States to follow suit and create their own George Floyd Memorial Scholarship.
“I am now challenging every university president in the United States to establish your own George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund,” Dr. Scott Hagen proclaimed.
The memorial service is the first of three memorial services for Floyd before his funeral in Houston, Texas next week.
The nation mourns with you and sends there thought, prayers, condolences and support to the family and friends of George Floyd as they wait for justice for George Floyd.