George Floyd was honored at a televised memorial attended by politicians, celebrities and family members. The Rev. Al Sharpton, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Ludacris, T.I., Will Packer, and Tyrese were among hundreds who attended the ceremony at North Central University’s Frank J. Lindquist Sanctuary in Minneapolis on Thursday (June 4).
During the ceremony Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, shared stories about growing up with him. “Everywhere you go, you see people how they cling to him. They wanted to be around him,” he said. “George was like a general. He walks outside and everyone wanted to greet him, wanted to have fun with him.”
Sharpton delivered a rousing eulogy at the memorial. “I want us to not sit here and act like we had a funeral on a schedule. George Floyd should not be among the deceased,” said Sharpton. “He did not die of common health conditions, he died of a common American criminal justice malfunction. He died because there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught that if you commit a crime it does not matter if you wear blue jeans or a blue uniform, you must pay for the crime you commit.”
Sharpton touched on the similarities between the murders of Floyd’s and Eric Garner, and the oppression that the Black community has endured for hundreds of years.
“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being, is you kept your knee on our neck, We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our neck, ” said Sharpton. “We could run corporations and not hustle in the street, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody else could do, but we couldn’t get your knee off our neck. What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services, and in every area of American life. It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say ‘Get your knee of our necks!’”
Others in attendance included Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, U.S., U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Martin Luther King III, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Sharpton and Floyd’s family also announced that they will be holding a march on Washington D.C. in his honor in August.
Watch the full eulogy below.