HOUSTON – Amid dozens of demonstrations honoring the life of George Floyd and protesting racial injustice and police violence, Thursday will mark the first day of memorial services across three cities.
The first service will be held around 1 p.m. at North Central University in Minneapolis. The service will be livestreamed in this article; if there is not a livestream available, check back at a later time.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights leader and founder of the National Action Network, will give a eulogy at the small and intimate service at North Central University. Ben Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, will also speak.
Floyd’s body will then go to Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born 46 years ago, for a two-hour public viewing and private service for the family on Saturday.
A public viewing will be held Monday in Houston, where he grew up and was raised for the majority of his life before moving to Minneapolis. On Tuesday, a service will take place at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, followed by a private burial.
The organizers of the memorials want to acknowledge the meaning Floyd had during in life to his large family and the broader meaning he has assumed in death, which happened after white officer Derek Chauvin pressed a knee into the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleaded for air.
Chavin’s charges were upgraded to second-degree murder on Wednesday. The three other officers at the scene were charged for the first time with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to four decades in prison.
The move punctuated an unprecedented week in modern American history, in which largely peaceful protests took place in communities of all sizes but were rocked by bouts of violence, including deadly attacks on officers, rampant thefts and arson in some places.