A memorial was held Thursday for George Floyd, the black man who died last week after a police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him in Minneapolis, triggering protests across the country.
Artwork depicting Floyd saying, “I can breathe now” was placed in front of a golden casket and flower bouquets. Floyd’s brother Philonise shared memories of growing up together, saying, “All these people came to see my brother. And that’s amazing to me that he touched so many people’s hearts. Because he’s been touching our hearts. Everybody wants justice,” he continued, referring to those who have been protesting in the streets. “We want justice for George. He’s gonna get it!”
Mourners inside the North Central University sanctuary wore masks, some with pictures of Floyd on them. In a statement, the university said it took steps “to ensure appropriate measures will be in place for health and safety related to COVID-19.”
Floyd, 46, died May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground. Video filmed by bystanders shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. Floyd’s death set off nationwide protests against police brutality that have continued since the encounter.
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