The funeral of George Floyd began in the US state of Texas, whose death set off a wave of the greatest protests in the United States against racism and police brutality in decades and provoked a strong response in many countries around the world. Floyd is to be buried next to her mother in a suburb of Houston after the ceremony.
Although the last farewell is private, at least 50 people gathered in front of the church. Commemorations in Floyd’s honor began in the United States six days ago. The first took place in Minneapolis, where Floyd 25 died after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, even after the arrested person stopped showing signs of life. According to a video taken on a cell phone, Floyd repeatedly said to passers-by that he could not breathe and begged a police officer not to kill him.
Another reverential gathering took place over the weekend in Raeford, North Carolina, near Floyd’s birthplace. On Monday, several thousand people came to say goodbye to Floyd’s body, which was publicly displayed in a church in Houston for several hours.
The record of the incident circulating on social networks has prompted hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still not completely under control in some parts of the country. Although most of the protests in recent days have been peaceful, especially in the first days after Floyd’s death, demonstrations in many places turned into violent clashes with police, arson and looting. 40 cities have imposed temporary night curfew, with police arresting more than 10,000 people across the country.
In the USA, however, due to the case, processes were set in motion that were essentially unthinkable two weeks ago. In many places, monuments and statues commemorating the personalities of the Confederacy, which defended slavery during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865, were removed. Many cities are also discussing major police reforms and a general understanding of how to ensure security in some communities without excessive use of coercive force.
The case also affected the upcoming presidential election. Support for Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election, is at one of the lowest levels since the beginning of his presidency. According to a recent survey, eight out of ten Americans believe that their country is moving in the wrong direction. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden met with Floyd’s family on Monday and also recorded a video message that will be played at today’s private funeral.
Four police officers were arrested in connection with Floyd’s death and lost their place in the Minneapolis Corps. At the same time, the local town hall stated that it was going to dissolve the local city police completely. Intervening police officer Chauvin faces charges of murder. According to investigators, his three colleagues present at the intervention helped the murder. Everyone faces up to 40 years in prison.