After a three-state, five-day journey, George Floyd’s family said their final goodbye on Tuesday (June 9) in the place he called home, Houston, Texas.
Thousands of mourners, including celebrities, politicians and activists, paid their respects to George at the Fountain of Praise church just over two weeks after his death at the hands of Minneapolis police set off international protests.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, Rep. Al Green of Texas, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Attorney Benjamin Crump, were among the 500 invited guests. Houston rappers Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Trae Tha Truth were also in attendance as well as Houston Texans owner, Cal McNair, football stars J.J. Watt and D.J. Reader, gospel singer Kim Burrell, actors Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, and R&B singer Al B. Sure.
At one point during the celebration of life service, Ne-Yo performed an acapella version of Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.”
While presidential candidate Joe Biden was not in attendance, he did send a video message that was played during the service and he expressed that the US cannot “again turn away from racism that stings at our very soul.”
He also mentioned George’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, saying, “I know you have a lot of questions, honey. No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have asked for generations. Why? Why is daddy gone?”
“Looking through your eyes, we should also be asking ourselves why the answer is so often too cruel and painful,” Joe continued. “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?”
Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, also delivered a eulogy, in which he announced his plan to sign an executive order implementing swift police reforms. “We will ban chokeholds and strangleholds, he said. Adding, “you must exhaust all alternatives before shooting.”
Mayor Sylvester additionally proclaimed that June 9 will be “George Perry Floyd Day” in the city of Houston. “We honor him, not because he was perfect, we honor him today because when he took his last breath, the rest of us will now be able breathe,” Sylvester said.
Another stand out moment came when George’s niece Brooke Williams demanded justice for the murder of her uncle. “As long as I’m breathing, justice will be served for Perry,” she said. Adding, none of the four officers involved in George’s murder showed “heart or soul.”
“That officer showed no remorse while watching my uncle’s soul leave his body. He begged and pleaded many times just for you to get up, but you just pushed harder. Why must the system be corrupt and broken?” she asked.
George’s body will be buried in Pearland, Texas next to his mother’s grave.