George Floyd to be eulogised in Minneapolis memorial, first of 3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mourners converged in Minneapolis on Thursday for the first in a series of a memorials to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police has sparked turbulent protests around the world against racial injustice.
The afternoon event was set for North Central University, where the civil rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton was scheduled to be among those eulogising the 46-year-old Floyd.
“He was a human being. He had family, he had dreams, he had hopes. The real duty of one with this type of assignment is to underscore the value of the human life that was taken, which gives the reason the movement was occurring,” Sharpton said ahead of the gathering.
Inside the sanctuary, a golden casket was flanked by white and purple flowers, and an image was projected above the pulpit of a mural painted at the street corner where Floyd was pinned to the ground by police.
The sanctuary normally seats 1,000, but because of the coronavirus outbreak, the capacity was reduced to about 500.
The service was expected to attract an array of celebrities, civil rights leaders, activists and politicians from around the country.
Seats were reserved for actors and comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and Regina Hall; actor and producer Tyler Perry; Martin Luther King III; the Reverend Jesse Jackson; Minnesota Governor Tim Walz; Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey; Rep. Ilhan Omar; Senator Amy Klobuchar and others, though it wasn’t certain that all would attend.
Memorials are set to take place in three cities over six days: After the Minneapolis event, Floyd’s body will go to Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born, for a public viewing and private family service on Saturday.
Next, a public viewing will be held Monday in Houston, where he was raised and lived most of his life.
Then a 500-person service will take place Tuesday at the Fountain of Praise church.
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