George Floyd Mourners Stand 8 Minutes, 46 Seconds

Memorial service held in Minneapolis
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 4, 2020 4:20 PM CDT
George Floyd Mourners Stand 8 Minutes, 46 Minutes
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at a memorial service for George Floyd at North Central University Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Minneapolis.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Hollywood celebrities, musicians, and politicians gathered in front of the golden casket of George Floyd at a fiery memorial Thursday for the man whose death at the hands of police sparked global protests. The service—the first in a series of memorials set for three cities over six days—unfolded at a sanctuary at North Central University in Minneapolis as a judge a few blocks away set bail at $750,000 each for the three fired police officers charged with aiding and abetting murder in Floyd's death, per the AP. “George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to be is you kept your knee on our neck,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a fierce eulogy. “It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say, ‘Get your knee off our necks!’”

The service drew the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and members of Congress. Among the celebrities in attendance were T.I., Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and Marsai Martin. “All these people came to see my brother,” Philones Floyd told the crowd at the memorial. “That’s amazing to me that he touched so many people’s hearts because he touched our hearts.” Those gathered stood in silence for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, the amount of time Floyd was on the ground under the control of police. The casket was flanked by white and purple flowers, and a vibrant image was projected above the pulpit of a mural of Floyd painted at the street corner where he was seized by police on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. The message on the mural: “I can breathe now.”

(More George Floyd stories.)

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