George Floyd’s funeral: how to watch + updates
The murder of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police has shaken the entire country. Protests against police brutality took place in all 50 states, and two weeks later the protests keep happening (and going by the Democrats' new police reform legislation and other calls by government officials to reform and defund police, it seems our voices are being heard). Previously, a memorial service for Floyd with a eulogy delivered by Reverend Al Sharpton streamed live, yesterday (6/8) a public viewing was held in his former hometown of Houston which also streamed live, and today (6/9) his funeral at the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston will stream live at 12 PM ET (11 AM CT). For those attending in person, the funeral is private and limited to 500 people.
Mia K. Wright, the co-pastor of The Fountain of Praise church, told CNN, "We celebrate a life that had its ups and downs as many lives do but also a life that was connected to God and one that all people around the world have now connected to because of the tragedy and the trauma by which he passed. And so we want to have a home-going celebration, we want to remember his name."
Wright also said that there will be multiple speakers, including civil rights leaders, who "have a call to justice, a call for social reform."
"It is so important that we move forward from here from a place of healing and wholeness because if we expect change to happen in our community, we can't come from anger and hurt and loss," Wright added. "We have to learn how to move as a whole unit."
Deadline adds that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton, Floyd attorney Benjamin Crump, Slim Thug, Leela James, Paul Wall, Jamie Foxx, Floyd Mayweather, Rep. Al Green and Bishop James Dixon are among the guests slated to attend, and that the funeral will also feature a taped message by Joe Biden. Sharpton is once again expected to deliver the eulogy.
Update: Floyd's service is underway, and several people have spoken, including members of Floyd's family, politicians, musicians, and more. Joe Biden said via video message, "No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have asked for generations. Why? Why is daddy gone?" He also directly spoke to Floyd's 6-year-old daughter Gianna: "Looking through your eyes, we should also be asking ourselves why the answer is so often too cruel and painful. Why, in this nation, do too many black Americans wake up knowing that they could lose their life in the course of just living their life? Why does justice not roll like a river or righteousness like a mighty stream? Why?"
"Ladies and gentlemen, we can't turn away," Biden said to the crowd. "We cannot leave this moment thinking, we can once again turn away from racism."
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said, "I want to acknowledge those young marchers in the streets. Many of them could not be in this place. They are black and brown, they are Asian. They are white. They are protesting and marching. And I'm saying as a momma, 'I hear your cry.' That is what George Floyd wanted us to know. His assignment turned into a purpose. And that purpose was heard around the world. There are people rising up that will never sit down until you get justice."
Ne-Yo sang G.C. Cameron’s "It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," and said, "This man changed the world. He changed the world for the better. I would like to personally thank George Floyd for his sacrifice, so that my kids could be all right later on. I appreciate the sacrifice. I genuinely do."
In his eulogy, Rev. Al Sharpton said, "Until we know the price for black life is the same as the price for white life, we’re gonna keep coming back to these situations over and over again."
Sharpton also honored the family members of other black victims of police brutality who attended the funeral to show their support, saying, "The mother of Trayvon Martin, will you stand. The mother of Eric Garner, will you stand. The sister of Botham Jean, will you stand. The family of Pamela Turner, here in Houston, will you stand. The father of Michael Brown from Ferguson, Mo., will you stand. The father of Ahmaud Arbery, will you stand. All of these families came to stand with this family, because they know better than anyone else the pain they will suffer from the loss that they have gone through."
Rep. Al Green said, "I’m not here today as a Democrat, we’re not here as Republicans…George Floyd was not expendable, this is why we’re here. We're going to celebrate the life of George Floyd today." He also added, "His crime was that he was born black — that was his only crime."
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said, "There will be no more 8 minutes and 46 seconds of police brutality...There will be no more 8 minutes and 46 seconds that you will be in pain without getting justice."
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, "We honor him today, because when he took his last breath, the rest of us will now be able to breathe."
You can watch the funeral right here:
NBC News also has an archived stream of Monday's public viewing:
CNN reported on the public viewing as well:
Meanwhile, Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with second degree murder in the death of George Floyd, had his first court appearance on Monday and a judge set his unconditional bail at $1.25 million or $1 million with conditions, CBS News reports.
For ways to help out in the fight against police brutality and racism, here are some resources.