Sat | Jul 4, 2020

Floyd eulogised in Minneapolis memorial, first of three

Published:Friday | June 5, 2020 | 12:22 AM
The body of George Floyd arrives before his memorial service in Minneapolis yesterday.
The body of George Floyd arrives before his memorial service in Minneapolis yesterday.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP):

MOURNERS CONVERGED in Minneapolis yesterday 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, held at the North Central University, saw civil rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton 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 attracted an array of celebrities, civil rights leaders, activists and politicians from around the country.

Memorials are set to take place in three cities over six days: 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.

The farewells for Floyd – an out-of-work bouncer who was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store and died after a white officer pressed his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes – come as demonstrations around the globe continue.