George Floyd laid to rest in Texas with calls for justice

George Floyd laid to rest in Texas with calls for justice
Black Lives Matter protests have spread throughout the world since the killing of George Floyd.
2 min read
10 June, 2020
Floyd was laid to rest on Tuesday [Getty]
George Floyd, an African American man killed in police custody last month, was laid to rest on Tuesday amid calls for justice.

Around 2,500 people attended the funeral at the Fountain of Praise Church in Texas, with thousands of mourners lining the streets of Houston as Floyd's hearse passed by.

The four-hour ceremony in Floyd's childhood home city was broadcast by major TV networks in the US and saw family, clergy and politicians voice grief and anger at his death.

George Floyd died after a white police officer in Minnesota  asphyxiated him with his knee in Minnesota, igniting Black Lives Matter protests across the world, and new debates on racism and police brutality.

He repeatedly told the officer "I can't breathe" and called out "mama" in the moments before his death.

Since then, huge protests have been held in cities across the world and statues of slave owners and traders have been removed and destroyed. 

At the ceremony, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton spoke about his legacy of Floyd, whose horrifying death sparked revulsion across the world.

"All over the world I see grandchildren of slave masters tearing down slave masters' statues," Sharpton told the mourners.

"God took the rejected stone and made him the cornerstone of a movement that's gonna change the whole wide world."

Floyd's niece, Brooklyn Williams, pledged to continue the fight for justice.

"I can breathe. And as long as I'm breathing, justice will be served... This is not just a murder but a hate crime."

George's older brother, Philonise, told mourners, "George was my personal superman."

Also attending were family members of other victims of police brutality and racism.

The mother of Eric Garner, an African American who died in similar circumstances to Floyd in police custody six-years-ago was at the funeral.

Also present were the family of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old man from Georgia who was shot and killed while jogging. Three white men were charged over his death.

Family and frends describe George Floyd, a 46-year-old security guard who lost his job during the coronavirus epidemic, as a "gentle giant".

He was arrested after using a fake 20 dollar bill in a store. Police officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with murder, pressed on his neck for nearly nine minutes, despite appeals from Floyd and bystanders that he could not breathe. No attempts were made to revive Floyd, media reported.

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