9 powerful images from George Floyd’s viewing that captured the pain, hope for change

‘I, too, am American': Young children said goodbye to Floyd at Houston viewing

Mourner Charlene Thompson, of Houston, passes by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church Monday, June 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
Mourner Charlene Thompson, of Houston, passes by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church Monday, June 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

SAN ANTONIO – One by one, they trickled into the Fountain of Praise church in Houston to pay their final respects to George Floyd.

They may not have known him personally, but thousands stood and waited in the searing heat to say goodbye to the man whose death has sparked nationwide unrest over racial injustice.

Many mourners brought their young children, their flowers, their signs and their T-shirts that either had Floyd’s picture or the words “I can’t breathe” — some of his last words that have reverberated around the world.

Thousands mourn George Floyd in Texas amid calls for reform

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among the first to view the casket, and afterward said he was going to meet with Floyd’s family personally.

“George Floyd is going to change the arc of the future of the United States. George Floyd has not died in vain. His life will be a living legacy about the way that America and Texas responds to this tragedy,” Abbott said.

One mourner, Bracy Burnett, visited the memorial with a homemade mask scrawled with “8:46,″ which is the length of time prosecutors say Floyd was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer before he died.

Photos: People around the world protest racial injustice, police brutality following George Floyd’s death

Attendees were required to wear facemasks and stay 6 feet apart due to social distancing guidelines, but some briefly moved their coverings to wipe tears as they stood near Floyd’s gold-covered casket.

And although socially distanced, photos captured a sense of closeness amid strangers who shared grief and inspiration for change.

View some of the scenes from inside the church below.

Mourners pass by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church Monday, June 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
Mourners pass by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church Monday, June 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
Guests arrive at a public visitation for George Floyd at the Fountain of Praise Church on Monday, June 8, 2020 in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Chief of the Houston Police Department, Art Acevedo, is hugged by Charlene Davis as he visits with people standing in line to attend the public viewing of George Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church on June 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas. George Floyd died on May 25th when he was in Minneapolis police custody, sparking nationwide protests. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)
Mourner Vicki Irving passes by the casket bearing the remains of George Floyd at a public visitation at the Fountain of Praise church June 8, 2020, in Houston, Texas. Floyd died May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody, sparking nationwide protests. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)
Mourner Charlene Thompson, of Houston, passes by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church Monday, June 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
Guests arrive at a public visitation for George Floyd on Monday, June 8, 2020 at the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Mourners pass by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Monday, June 8, 2020. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
People wait in line to attend the public viewing for George Floyd outside the Fountain of Praise church on June 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Floyd died May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody, sparking nationwide protests. A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder, with the three other officers involved facing other charges. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.