Hundreds of Americans attend memorial service for George Floyd in Minneapolis

A memorial service began on Thursday for George Floyd in Minneapolis where the unarmed black man was brutally killed by a white police officer late last month.

Family members, friends, political and religious leaders as well as hundreds of people of all ages — African American, white, Latino, Asian and Native American — gathered to show support for Floyd’s family, while people around the globed watched on television and online.

People stand outside during George Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis. (Reuters photo)

The ceremony began 1 p.m. CT in a sanctuary at North Central University in Minneapolis, which seats nearly 1,000 people.

Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he suffocated. His death has reignited long-felt anger over police brutal killings of African-Americans and unleashed a nationwide wave of civil unrest unlike any seen in the US since King's 1968 assassination.

Speaking at the service, Ben Crump, the lawyer for Floyd's family, said, "It's going to take a united effort inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom to get justice for George Floyd."

He went on to say that there should be only one justice system for both black and white people.

"We don’t want two justice systems in America. One for black and one for white. What we endeavor to achieve is equal gestures for the United States of America and George Floyd is the moment to give us the best opportunity I’ve seen in a long time of reaching that high idea that this country was founded on."


Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at George Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis, on June 4. (Photo via CNN)
Meanwhile, American civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton said the service is "not a normal funeral," adding but such services are a far too common happening.

"I want us to not sit here and act like we had a funeral on the schedule. George Floyd should not be among the deceased. He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction," Sharpton said.

"So it is not a normal funeral. It is not a normal circumstance. But it is too common. And we need to deal with it."

George Floyd's brother Philonise also spoke at the service, reiterating his brother “will get justice.”

"You know, I'm just staying strong as I can cause I need to get it out, I need to get it out. Everybody wants justice, we want justice for George. He's going to get it. He's going to get it."

Philonise Floyd speaks at a memorial service for his brother, George Floyd at North Central University Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP photo)
The service comes a day after new charges were announced against Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes as well as three other officers who were on the scene.

Chauvin, who was jailed Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, was newly charged with second-degree murder.

The other three officers fired from the Minneapolis police department along with Chauvin were charged on Wednesday, each with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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