His funeral will be private. Some 6,000 people attended a public memorial service Monday in Houston, where he grew up.
Under the blazing Texas sun, mourners wearing T-shirts with the image of Floyd or the words “I Can’t Breathe” – the phrase he repeatedly shouted while stuck by the police – waited hours to pay tribute to them. Floyd’s body, dressed in a brown suit, rested in an open gold coffin.
Shortly after the memorial was finished, Floyd’s coffin was placed in a hearse and escorted by police to a funeral home.
As the hearse walked away, Daniel Osarobo, 39, a Houston resident who immigrated from Nigeria, could be heard saying, “Stay in power. Rest in peace”.
“I was stopped by the police. I understand the situation. I can only imagine, “said Osarobo, who works as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. “What if it was me?” What if he was my brother? What if it was my sister? What if he was my son? “
These are questions that many black Americans have asked not only in recent weeks, but for decades.
Four Minneapolis officers have been charged in connection with the death of Floyd, who was filmed by passers-by.
Floyd’s death has sparked international protests and brought new attention to the treatment of African Americans in the United States by the police and the criminal justice system. In the past two weeks, radical and previously unthinkable things have happened: Confederate statues have been knocked down, police services across America have rethought the way they patrol minority neighborhoods, legislatures have debated use of force policies, and white, black and brown people have had uncomfortable, sometimes passionate, discussions about race in a nation that is supposed to provide equal opportunities for all.
“We will get justice”
Calls for police reform have been made in many communities, and people around the world have taken to the streets in solidarity, saying that reform and dialogue must not end with Floyd’s funeral.
Former Vice President Joe Biden met with Floyd’s family on Monday, according to a photo posted on Twitter by the Reverend Al Sharpton. Biden will provide a video message for Floyd’s funeral. Previous memorials have been held in Minneapolis and Raeford, N.C., near the place where Floyd was born.
The memorials have drawn the families of black victims to other high-profile murders whose names have been engraved in American conversations about race – among them Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin.
“It just hurts,” said George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd, sobbing as he ticked off some of their names in front of the Praise Fountain Church. “We will get justice. We will get it. We will not let this door close. ”
For 14 nights, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
Cities have imposed curfews, some of the protests having been spoiled by arson, assaults and break-ins against businesses. More than 10,000 people have been arrested across the country, according to information followed by the Associated Press.
But the protests in recent days have been extremely peaceful – and over the weekend, several police departments appeared to withdraw from the aggressive tactics.