In grief, meditation and masked, thousands of Houston residents arrived on Monday to meditate in front of the coffin to George Floyd, on the day of his funeral in select committees. Many people want to show a country together, while warning the police attitude.
A long line began to form, which began Monday morning, June 8, in front of the Fountain of Praise Church, in southern Houston (USA), where the ceremony of tribute to George Floyd was held. The 46-year-old African American whose death on the knee of a white police on May 25 led to anger and protests against racism. This is the last public tribute before his funeral, reserved for the family circle, which will take place on Tuesday.
The coffin of George Floyd arrived in Texas on Monday, his body exposed to the public all day. Thousands of residents in the Texas metropolis, especially the “Third Assembly”, the district where he grew up, braved the sun and the heat to say goodbye. “Thank you all for meeting my brother,” Philonise Floyd told the crowd in the afternoon. “It is very painful to be here, it is difficult and painful.”
Some in the audience wore George Floyd t-shirts or crossed out the phrase “I can’t breathe,” as he said during his anxiety; others raised their fists as they came in front of the coffin where his remains were.
Pandemic obligations, the wearing of the mask was compulsory in the church and the visitors, whose temperature had been taken, had only a few seconds to meditate in front of the coffin before leaving their place.
A country united despite grief
Joseph Qualls attended the same high school as George Floyd in the “Third Assembly”. For him, his death is all the more painful because he admired it. “He was the first person I knew in my neighborhood to receive a university scholarship,” said the 38-year-old hairdresser.
Kelvin Sherrod, 41, insisted on coming with his wife and two boys, 8 and 9 years old. The whole family is wearing a black T-shirt with the inscription “I can’t breathe”. George Floyd’s death affected his children: “They told me” what happened, what did they do to the Lord? “So it was important for me to be here with them. This is a special moment in history and they remember being part of it.”
Candice, who also commends George Floyd, is also pleased to see “the country gather” in a protest movement. “It’s time for a change and we have to overcome oppression, police violence and racism,” she said.
In the crowd, mostly black and white Americans want to send a message of solidarity and unity. Sarah Frazzell, 33, brought five of her friends and bouquets of flowers to “support the George Floyd family and the black community.” The crowd size “shows America that there is a problem”.
Distrust between police and black minority
The death of George Floyd is the latest in a long series in recent years of deaths of mostly unarmed black men killed by police. Like Eric Garner, who was choked by a white agent in New York 2014.
“They started again, they took a new life,” condemned his mother, Gwen Carr, invited by the Floyd family to the funeral. “That’s why justice has to be done for us,” she added, adding: arguing that the “bad apples” must have left the US police.
For Kelvin Sherrod, the police’s attitude towards the black minority must be completely changed. “We don’t know who we can trust,” he says. “If the good police don’t face the bad, you can’t trust anyone.”
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, who has met George Floyd’s family, admits there is “a lot of work to be done” to end mutual distrust.
The French presidential party participates in tribute
In France, the La République en Marche party announced that it “will join the international tribute that will be paid to it” Tuesday, at 6 pm Paris time, “by observing 8 minutes 46 seconds of silence in its memory.”
“If the situation in France is in any way comparable to that of the United States, we must hear the cry of anger expressed by a large proportion of French youth in recent days to condemn racism, hatred and all forms of discrimination and violence,” Emmanuel said Macron’s political party in a press release: “To hear this cry is to refuse denial but also to the instrumentalizations that can be made of it and to oppose amalgams that would mean saying that our institutions and our police are racist.”
“All manifestations of racism and violence in the police must be condemned and punished, as the Minister of the Interior (Christophe Castaner) recalled, but is in no way representative of all the forces in the” order that performs a remarkable work that is extremely difficult on a daily basis and as the Republic of progress wants to express all its recognition, “adds the movement, which in this regard welcomes the minister’s announcements.