Hundreds of mourners in Minneapolis on Thursday remembered George Floyd, the black man whose death in police custody set off a wave of nationwide protests that reached the doors of the White House and ignited a debate about race and justice.
George Floyd Memorial Service https://t.co/p6SlBjXYrc
— Jay (@JaylinJDN) June 4, 2020
Philonise Floyd, one of Floyd’s brothers, told a memorial service at a chapel in the Minnesota city’s North Central University that their family was poor and that he and George would wash their socks and clothes with soap in the sink and dry them in the oven because they did not have a dryer.
“It’s crazy man, all these people came to see my brother, it’s amazing he touched so many hearts,” said the brother, wearing a dark suit and a badge with a photo of his brother and the words “I can’t breathe” on his lapel.
— Nayru BlueEyes (@BlueeyesNayru) June 4, 2020
Derek Chauvin, 44, was fired from the Minneapolis police force and charged with second-degree murder after being filmed in a widely circulated video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, “Please, I can’t breathe.”
Police say they suspected Floyd, 46, of using a counterfeit bill to pay for cigarettes.
Huge crowds have defied curfews and taken to the streets of cities across the country for nine nights in sometimes violent protests that prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to send in the military.
Ben Crump, a lawyer for Floyd’s family, told the memorial service that the police action that day was evil.
“What we saw in that video was evil. So America, as we proclaim as we memorialize George Floyd, do not accept evil. Protest against evil. We cannot cooperate with evil. We cannot cooperate with torture,” Crump said.
Prosecutors leveled new charges against four former Minneapolis police officers implicated in the killing on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the three officers charged with aiding and abetting the murder of Floyd made their first appearances in court, where bail was set at $1 million but would be lowered to $750 000 if they agreed to certain conditions, including forfeiting any personal firearms.
In New York City, which has been hit by looting during the protests, thousands of people attended a memorial event in a Brooklyn park for Floyd.
— Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA) June 4, 2020
Many knelt in the grass in the afternoon sunshine in a symbol of protest against police behavior and chanted, “No Justice. No Peace.”
US Representative Hakeem Jeffries urged people to continue their protests, saying the tragedy has awakened a cross-section of people who would bring lasting change.