In the American city of Minneapolis, the memorial service for George Floyd, the black man who died during his arrest on Monday, May 25, when a policeman held him to the ground for almost nine minutes by placing his knee in Floyd’s neck.
Police arrived on the scene last week after store clerks called the police because they suspected 46-year-old George Floyd had bought cigarettes with a $20 fake note.
His death led to demonstrations across the U.S., protesting against racism and police violence for over a week.
In some big cities, the demonstrations resulted in riots. Floyd’s family calls for justice and asks that the policemen involved be punished.
Derek Chauvin, the policeman who restrained Floyd with his knee, is charged with manslaughter. The other three policemen involved are accused of conspiracy.
Family, friends, and a large number of guests are gathered today at the North Central University in Minneapolis.
Famous pastor Al Sharpton leads the memorial service. He is the founder of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization dedicated to the rights of African-Americans.
The service is attended by prominent celebrities, human rights activists, and politicians. Among the actors expected are Kevin Hart, Tyler Perry, and Regina Hall.
Also present will be Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as a pastor and activist Jesse Jackson.
The governor of Minnesota Tim Walz, mayor of Minneapolis Jacob Frey and former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar will also attend the service.
Ben Crump, the Floyd family lawyer, said during the memorial service that he and a team of lawyers both in court and outside would work for justice for George.
Although the coronavirus currently haunts the U.S., it is not that epidemic, but the “epidemic of racism and discrimination” that led to George’s death, Crump said.
During the memorial service, Philonise Floyd remembers his brother George, whom he describes as a pleasure maker who was always there for everyone.
He was very popular, says Philonise. “Everyone wanted to be around him.” “I stay strong because I have to,” Philonise says. “Everyone wants justice, and he’ll get it.”