George Floyd funeral: Brothers break down near casket, say he would've sacrificed himself to unite the world
Many of the family members, including brother Philonise, was seen in photos from the funeral getting emotional
The funeral of George Floyd, an African-American man whose death in police custody gave rise to nationwide protests on police brutality is underway on Tuesday, June 9, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas, where a six-hour public viewing was held as part of a final memorial. His remains will be laid to rest next to his mother at Houston Memorial Gardens in Pearland.
Before the funeral ceremony began at 11 am local time, many of the family members of Floyd were seen getting emotional as they paid their respects to the 46-year-old resting in the casket. CNN's Sara Sidner tweeted saying, "the Final viewing of #GeorgeFloyd’s body and the sealing of the Bier is happening now as his funeral gets underway. His brother’s broke down in front of the casket and broke all of our hearts." Although Sidner did not reveal which of Floyd's brothers was seen crying, the Sun posted a photo of Philonise Floyd crying with a hand on his head as at the casket.
"If he was told he would have to sacrifice his life to bring the world together, knowing him, I know he would have," Floyd's brother Rodney, said before the service began. Some of the invited guests among the 500 friends, family, political leaders and entertainers who streamed into the church for the funeral included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Al Green, and rappers Paul Wall and Slim Thug. Other well-known figures like actors Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, and NFL star JJ Watt were also seen at the ceremony.
It was also reported that a horse-drawn carriage will transport the remains of Floyd to his gravesite following the private funeral ceremony — a detail that some people on Twitter thought was a bit excessive. One of them was American conservative blogger and political commentator Michelle Malkin. "Oh, for crying out loud. George Floyd gets a funeral caisson...the type of treatment reserved for heads of state and members of the Armed Forces. #EndStageAmerica" she said.
Another angry user wrote, "They shipped his body all over the US for multiple funerals w/1000's of 'mourners', while at the same time Americans all over the US have been denied funerals for their loved ones who died of Covid-19?!?" A third said, "Hero's (sic) that give their lives for the sake of FREEDOM in God-forsaken foreign countries do not get this kind of funeral, but here we are. Giving a career criminal a state funeral. Jesus is about to come get His church folks, so you better make your heart ready!"
On May 25, Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on the former's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds till he passed out, despite his repeated pleas of, "I can't breathe." Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Although both those charges still stand, the charge of second-degree murder was later added. Chauvin appeared via video chat in court for the first time on Monday, June 8 where a judge kept his bail at $1million.
Fountain of Praise Pastor Remus Wright said of the Floyd family: "They really have not had a chance to really grieve because this case is so worldwide. So we are not only concerned about them today but also what will they need next month and the month after that."
You can see the pictures from the funeral here.