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George Floyd lost his life on May 25 after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. During the last minutes of his life, which was recorded and widely shared on social media, Floyd repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” and begged for his own mother.
On Tuesday, June 9, Floyd’s funeral took place in Houston, Texas.
Hundreds of people filed into the chapel to pay their final respects to Floyd.
His death at the hands of the Minneapolis police ignited a protest movement worldwide.
Floyd, who was a brother, son, father and friend, was carried by a horse drawn carriage to his final resting place in Pearland next to his mother.
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Who was George Floyd’s mother?
Floyd was close to his mother and even tattooed her name on his belly.
During the funeral, relatives told personal stories about Floyd and his family.
One of his aunts said although the world may now know her nephew by his name or his last words — “I can’t breathe” — which have become a rallying cry, she knew Floyd as “Perry Jr.”
Floyd’s mother, she said, was lovingly known as “Miss Sissy.”
George’s siblings and cousin described the family’s house as always welcoming.
The children of the neighbourhood also called Floyd’s mom “Miss Sissy” and always wanted to come over because they knew they would always get a meal.
Tuesday’s service capped off a series of gatherings honouring Floyd in the past week.
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Family members, friends and invited guests, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner; US Reps Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green, boxer Floyd Mayweather and singer Ne-Yo.
Civil rights activist the Rev Al Sharpton said in a eulogy for Floyd: “We are not fighting some disconnected incidents.
“We are fighting an institutional, systemic problem that has been allowed to permeate since we were brought to these shores. We are fighting wickedness in high places.”
He added: “Until we know the price for black life is the same as the price for white life, we’re going to keep coming back to these situations over and over again.
“I want to give a commitment to the family that we’re going to be here for the long haul.
“When the last TV truck is gone, we’ll still be here.”
One of Floyd’s nieces, Brooke Williams, also spoke during the memorial, advocating for police reform while telling the audience about her happy times with her uncle.
Brooke spoke of how her uncle would tell her she was “going to go so far with that beautiful smile and brain of yours.”
But she asked: “Someone said, ‘Make America Great Again,’. But when has America ever been great?”
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