January 25, 2021

George Floyd death: Thousands of mourners say goodbye to unarmed black man who died during arrest

June 08, 2020

Thousands of mourners said goodbye to George Floyd in his native Houston on Monday as his death continues to spark protests around the world.

Some of those who attended the Fountain of Praise church in Texas were seen wearing T-shirts bearing Mr Floyd's picture or the words "I can't breathe" - the phrase he said repeatedly as a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

People waited for hours to see the 46-year-old's body as he was dressed in a brown suit in an open gold-coloured casket.

One man in line fainted, while others waiting sang "Lean On Me".

Some of them knew Mr Floyd from the nearby housing projects where he grew up, while others travelled for hours or drove in from other states.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden met with Mr Floyd's family as mourners paid tribute at the church on Monday.

Benjamin Crump, the family's lawyer, said Mr Biden showed compassion that "meant the world to them".

The former vice president, who first spoke with the family by telephone more than a week ago, has called for policies to address "systemic racism" in law enforcement.

He has also accused President Donald Trump of stoking division in response to massive street demonstrations that spread across the United States and around the world.

Mr Trump has also spoken with Mr Floyd's family in a call that the brother Philonise said in interviews was brief and did not provide him with an opportunity to say much.

The president said at a law enforcement roundtable on Monday that he is looking at policing reforms.

People across the US who couldn't make it to the church in Texas held tributes of their own.

A funeral-style procession of cars inched through downtown Los Angeles as the viewing began in Houston, while people in Memphis, Tennessee, held a moment of silence

A judge in Minneapolis increased bail from $1m (£786m) to $1.25m for Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with second-degree murder in relation Floyd's death, while the viewing was taking place.

Chauvin, 44, said almost nothing during the 11-minute hearing while appearing on closed-circuit television from a maximum-security prison.

Mr Floyd's death on 25 May has inspired international protests and drawn new attention to the treatment of African Americans in the US by police and the criminal justice system.

Democrats in Washington proposed a sweeping overhaul of police oversight and procedures that would include a nationwide ban on chokeholds on Monday.

Senior Democrats had earlier paid honour Mr Floyd by kneeling on the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds - the time prosecutors say Mr Chauvin kneeled on his neck.

The Minneapolis City Council has vowed to dismantle the city's 800-member police agency.

Floyd's funeral take place on Tuesday followed by his burial at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in suburban Pearland, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother, Larcenia Floyd.

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