George Floyd procession leaves church for cemetery

The family of George Floyd handles items given to them by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner during the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
The family of George Floyd handles items given to them by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner during the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

HOUSTON – After thousands of people paid their final respects to George Floyd, he is set to be buried next to his mother during a private funeral in Houston on Tuesday.

Floyd’s family has planned a private celebration of life at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston. His burial will take place at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in Pearland.

4 p.m. -- After a ceremony filled with heartfelt speeches and calls to action, the celebration of life for George Floyd ended and the procession made its way to the cemetery, where he will be buried by his mother.

Floyd died two weeks ago after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd was heard saying “I can’t breathe” shortly before he died.

The words were repeated several times throughout Tuesday’s ceremony. But those who spoke said Floyd’s death breathed life into a movement to address police brutality and systemic racism.

Among the speakers who offered their condolences during the service on Tuesday included Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Reverend Al Sharpton and U.S. Reps. Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee.

3 p.m. -- Reverend Al Sharpton gave an emotional eulogy Tuesday afternoon during George Floyd’s celebration of life ceremony.

Sharpton, who is known across the country for his activism in racial issues, shared some moments of levity with Floyd’s family, but most of his speech focused on getting justice for Floyd.

“Until (the police officers) pay for what they did, we’re going to be there with them because lives like George will not matter until somebody pays the cost for taking his life,” Sharpton said.

The reverend also took the time to mention the families of other black people who have been killed at the hands of the police or in racially charged events.

The families of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Botham jean, Pamela Turner, Michael Brown and Ahmaud Arbery were all in attendance to support Floyd.

“We are fighting an institutional systemic problem that has been allowed to permeate since we’ve been brought to these shores,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton also denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent rhetoric on protesting before praising former quarterback Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee to protest systemic racism.

1:30 p.m. -- During his speech at George Floyd’s funeral, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that he will sign an executive order that bans chokeholds and strangleholds.

1:15 p.m. -- George Floyd’s family grew emotional as they thanked the community for their support. Floyd’s siblings and niece were among those who spoke on Tuesday afternoon.

While the family shared special memories of Floyd, they also called for action and change.

12:30 p.m. -- Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke Tuesday in a video message that was broadcast at George Floyd’s funeral service.

In his message, Biden told Floyd’s family that they will never feel the same again after losing their loved one.

“Unlike most, you must grieve in public,” Biden said.

Biden pledged to help end systemic racism.

“No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations,” Biden said. “I can’t turn away, we must not turn away. We cannot leave this moment thinking we can once again turn away from racism.”

Toward the end of his message, Biden quoted former Surpeme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

"We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. ... We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

Noon -- The church quickly filled up as soon as it opened its doors. Originally, organizers expected 500 people to attend the service, but the turnout appears to be higher than expected.

The service is now underway, with comments expected from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and U.S. Reps Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee.

10:30 a.m. -- The church has opened its doors, and invited guests are starting to file in for the funeral. It is set to begin at 11 a.m. and will be livestreamed in this article.

10 a.m. -- As the funeral is set to begin, residents in Pearland are tying gold and crimson ribbons around trees to honor George Floyd.

The colors represent Jack Yates High School, where Floyd graduated.

Residents hope that the ribbons can help show support for the family.

9 a.m. -- The hearse carrying George Floyd has arrived to the Fountain of Praise church.

Reporters and mourners alike crowded the vehicle to get photos.

Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. and will be livestreamed in this article.

7:30 a.m. -- Final preparations are being made for a private funeral for George Floyd, whose death has sparked a worldwide reckoning over racial injustice and police brutality.

Boxer Floyd Mayweather, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee are some of the notables expected at the service at the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston. His body will then be escorted to his final resting place in Pearland following the ceremony.

Despite sweltering heat Monday, about 6,000 people came to mourn Floyd on Monday during a public visitation at the Fountain of Praise church.

WATCH: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott talks about private meeting with George Floyd’s family

It was attended by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Jackson Lee, Sharpton, attorney Benjamin Crump, rapper Bun B, and more.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Abbott both visited Floyd’s family on Monday and pledged for changes.

Floyd’s death, which occurred two weeks ago after he was arrested by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, has sparked nationwide protests demanding justice and reform. Many officers took a less aggressive stance over the weekend when demonstrations were overwhelmingly peaceful.

Following the public visitation on Monday, cities across country lit their buildings crimson and gold to honor Floyd. The colors represented Jack Yates High School, where Floyd graduated.

San Antonio buildings lit to honor George Floyd

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.