'He is going to change the world': hundreds attend George Floyd's funeral in Texas

Family and guests attend the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Houston.
Family and guests attend the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Houston. Copyright AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool
By Alessio Dell'Anna with AP, AFP
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The funeral on Tuesday in Floyd's home town was private but thousands paid their respect at a memorial service on Monday.


The funeral of George Floyd, the American whose death sparked a global movement against racism and police violence, was held in his home town of Houston on Tuesday.

His brother, Rodney Floyd, told the church packed with mourners: "Everybody is going to remember him around the world. He is going to change the world."

The funeral was private, but dozens of people turned up outside the church to pay their respects.

An earlier memorial service on Monday was attended by 6,000 people.

The civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton led the proceedings, and mourners included rapper Trae tha Truth, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Joe Biden, the Democratic Party presidential candidate appeared in a video eulogy, saying "No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations: Why?”

“Now is the time for racial justice. That is the answer we must give to our children when they ask why.”

More than 500 mourners wearing masks to combat the coronavirus packed the Houston church, with dozens more outside.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool
Roxie Washington holds Gianna Floyd, the daughter of George Floyd as they attend the funeral service for Floyd.AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool

Hundreds of people, some chanting, "Say his name, George Floyd", accompanied Floyd’s casket to his final resting place beside his mother.

Floyd, 46, died on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a police officer handcuffed him and pressed his knee into his neck for close to nine minutes.

Footage of the arrest, in which Floyd can be heard pleading that he can't breathe, have sparked outrage in the US and across the world, with tens of thousands regularly flouting social distancing rules to protest.

The funeral comes just a day after Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, made his first court appearance.

Watch the full funeral here:

Bail of at least $1 million for ex-officer Chauvin

His bail was set at approximately €900,000 ($1 million) with conditions, and at €1.1 million ($1.25 million) without conditions if he wants to be released on parole before his trial.

The 44-year-old ex-police officer said little during an 11-minute hearing in which he appeared before Hennepin County Judge Jeannice M. Reding on closed-circuit television from the state's maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights.

He wore a mask and handcuffs as he sat at a table, where he answered "yes" or "no" to routine questions and confirmed the spelling of his name and address.

He did not enter a plea; a step that usually comes later in Minnesota courts.

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, did not contest the bail and didn't address the substance of the charges, which also include third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.


Neither Nelson nor a prosecutor commented to reporters following the hearing.

Chauvin's next appearance is set for June 29.

AP/Hennepin County Sheriff
Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou ThaoAP/Hennepin County Sheriff

Three other ex-police officers, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are charged in the same case with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Attorneys for Lane and Kueng made it clear at separate first appearances on Thursday that a key element of their defence will be to argue that their clients were rookies who tried to intervene verbally to help Floyd, but had no choice but to defer to Chauvin, the most senior officer at the scene.

Potential sentences for them depend on a conviction of Chauvin. If he is convicted of second-degree murder, they could face the same 40-year maximum.


Thousands attend Floyd's memorial service in Houston

The last chance for the public to say goodbye to George Floyd drew thousands of mourners on Monday to a church in Houston, where the man grew up,

“It just hurts,” Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, said outside The Fountain of Praise church.

“We will get justice. We will get it. We will not let this door close.”

People waited for hours to pay their respects as Floyd’s body lay in an open gold-coloured casket.

Some sang “Lean on Me” and Houston’s police chief bumped fists and embraced others in line.


Funeral home spokeswoman La’Torria Lemon said at least 6,000 attended the service, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

On Tuesday several French cities, including Paris, Lille, Grenoble, Dijon, Amiens, Bourges, Poitiers and Angers were set to host new rallies and tributes to Floyd.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott passes by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church, Monday, June 8, 2020, in HoustonAP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool
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