Two weeks after that George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota – sparking nationwide protests against racism and police brutality – he is buried Tuesday in Houston, Texas.
Floyd’s family, dressed in white, and friends got together with elected officials and civil rights leaders at the Fountain of Praise Church to commemorate Floyd for his third and final pre-burial funeral service. They were joined by the families of other black people murdered by the police, such as Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean and Eric Garner. Although the service was limited to 500 people, hundreds of mourners traveled to church without expecting to enter. Instead, they gathered outside the church to show support and solidarity.
Former vice president Joe Biden addressed Floyd’s family during the service through video. “Unlike most, you have to grieve in public and it’s a burden. Now your goal is to change the world for the better, on behalf of George Floyd,” he said.
He also spoke directly to Floyd’s daughter, Gianna. “You’re so brave, I know you have a lot of questions, honey,” he said. “No child should ask questions that too many black children should ask for generations:” Why is Daddy gone? “”
Joe Biden’s comments to the funeral service of George Floyd:
“We cannot leave this moment thinking that we can turn away from racism that pricks our souls, from systemic abuse that still plagues American life.”
– Kamau M. Marshall (@KamauMandela) June 9, 2020
Biden approved the police reforms earlier this week, but shrank from endorsing “unmasking the police,” one of the key policy positions emerged after several weeks of near-constant protests.
Several Texas Democratic elections also attended the service. Rep. Al Green (D-TX) called for recognizing and accepting our differences during a speech. “We must reconcile,” he said. “This country has not reconciled its differences with us. We survived slavery but were not reconciled. We survived segregation, but we are not reconciled. “
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) too focused on the meeting. “Let me heal the wound of the majority of African American men who have suffered from the wrong mindset,” she said. “A mindset of warriors rather than a peace mindset guard in law enforcement practice.”
Reverend Al Sharpton, who spoke for Floyd during a previous service in Minneapolis, and called for a march to Washington in that time, gave the eulogy on Tuesday. “Equal justice, equal fairness, we are not against anyone,” said Sharpton on Tuesday. “We try to prevent people from being against us.”
Growing up in Houston, Floyd was also commemorated in Minneapolis last Thursday and in North Carolina on Saturday. Tuesday’s funeral in Houston is his third and final memorial.
Floyd was born in Raeford, North Carolina, but he grew up in the third neighborhood of Houston. He went to Yates High School and played tight for the Yates football team, where he played the state championship in the Astrodome in 1992. He lived in Houston until four or five years ago when he moved to Minneapolis to try and get a fresh start.
A horse-drawn carriage takes Floyd’s remains to his grave after the funeral. He is buried next to his mother, for whom he called in his last moments.
It was a day dedicated to Floyd, but a day that also recognized the national rebellion of his death helped. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced during a speech that he will sign a bill banning police chokeholds and other reforms.