The world bid farewell to George Floyd in an emotional memorial service, held on Tuesday, in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
A horse-drawn carriage paved the way for the police escorted funeral cortege, heading towards Houston’s Memorial Gardens. The deceased was laid to rest in a gold coffin, next to his mother, Lacendra, whom he reportedly called for, before his last breath on May 25.
Floyd died on Memorial Day when a Minneapolis based police official pressured his knee against Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes, resulting in his death. The officer, Derek Chauvin was fired, right before his arrest. The accused was then slapped with second-degree murder charges, alongside a $1.25 million bail.
Floyd’s death sparked outrage amongst the American nation, calling for Black Lives Matter campaigns, protests, and an urgent need to defund the state’s police departments. This includes thousands of global anti-racism protests, being carried out in several other western countries.
Emotional family members, friends, and dignitaries gathered at Houston’s Praise Church on Tuesday, for a heart-wrenching memorial. Speakers at the church lined up to pay their final respects to a ‘man whose only crime was that he was born black.’
The private funeral service was attended by more than 500 guests, including family members of Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, and Botham Jean. At the same time, renowned personalities such as Jamie Foxx, J.J. Watt, Channing Tatum, and Congressman Al Green were also seen in attendance.
The service’s stirring sermon was delivered by Rev Al Sharpton, who called out President Trump for focusing more on the end of protests, instead of the increasing police brutality.
Soon, a rather bold series of statements were made by Rev William Bill Lawson, who called for a ‘cleaning out’ of the White House. He also urged the public masses to vote, as many mourners gathered to bid Floyd farewell.
Lawson also made powerful remarks during the private service, held at Floyd’s hometown, ordering his death to be the catalyst for change. These statements were responded with great enthusiasm and applause from the crowds.