June 04, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie
Thousands turned out to what can be described as an emotionally charged atmosphere at the Memorial Service on the campus of North Central University, the first of a series of memorial services held for the life of Mr. George Floyd.
Al Sharpton was present as was a cross section of dignitaries and celebrities including Kevin Hart, Ludacris, Rev. Jesse Jackson and many more.
Tiwana Porter sang “Amazing Grace”. It was a touching moment
A Scholarship Fund has been set up in honour of George Floyd with $53,000 contributed so far. President of the University Scott Hagan declared as he gave opening prayers.
.The University President called on all universities nationwide to set up a fund in George Floyd’s memory.
At the podium his brothers Phionise Floyd and Rodney Floyd spoke:
“We did a lot of things together, I love my brother man. He had a way with words. We call him ‘Georgie Porgy’ … everybody wants Justice for George .. he is gonna get it”. Phionise Floyd
“George was welcoming and loved by children and his grandchildren.” Rodney Floyd
“He could cook. He was a great man. He was like my big brother and father figure. He would stand up for injustice.” Brandon Williams, nephew.
“We did not have much, but we were loved”
Benjamin Crump, Floyd Family Attorney
“We will Get Justice”
Due to the Corona virus we have to stay on a schedule but it was not from the Corona virus that George Floyd was killed. It was the Justice system.
He went on to say:
“He who accepts evil is evil, it was torture. We cannot cooperate with evil.”
“Thomas Jefferson, said: “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
“Make the constitution meaningful to all Americans. The black baby born to inarticulate black mother should have the same right as the white baby to an articulate white mother, when we fight for all the fallen black brothers who have been killed at the hands of police. What we are doing is fighting for us all, for all Americans. We don’t want two justice systems.” Thank you very much. This is the way for justice.
Eulogy – Rev. Al Sharpton
Reverend Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network gave the eulogy. Here are a few things he said:
“He died from an American justice system.” “It is a normal funeral but it is not a normal circumstance.”
“I saw somebody holding that Bible”… “To every season there is a season”… “We will not use a bible as a prop” …
“When I got the call from Crump… people call me to blow up things… I am a blower upper… ”
“When I heard the details of what he said ‘He can’t breathe’, I called Tyler Perry and he gave me his plane.”
“When the light turns on the roaches hide. During the darkness, they turn up at the table and have a 5 course meal.”
“For 401 years you had your knee on our neck.”
“We were smarter than the underfunded schools, but you had your knee on our necks.
“We could have ran your corporations, instead of hustling the streets, but you had your knee on our neck ”
“Get your knee off our necks”.
“Even blacks who had broken through, even Oprah Winfrey you messed with her. A black president you kept asking for his birth certificate.”
“Some have looted and none in the family condone. They wanted to get back what have been looted from them. We have no problem denouncing looting. But you have a problem seeing in a tape probable cause. This is a different time and another season.”
“A white child said to me ‘No Justice no peace’ ”
“You have on a watch but it has the wrong time.. Time is up for your filibustering. I will not stop until there is a change in the Justice system.”
“The police keep a record of our background. We need to know their record of police behaviour.”
“George was calling for his mother. I was brought up by my mother.”
“Quincy Floyd said he was calling for his mother. She was calling you home.”
“I don’t care who is in the white House. Have hope! Faith is the substance of things hoped for.”
“On August 28, 2020 to commemorate the anniversary of the civil rights walk. We will walk again. It is to be led by the Floyd family, and Garner Family. We are going to change the tide. The family has shown grace. We are going to make America great for all Americans.”
“Turn out, turn out, turn out. We want you to stand up across the world.”
Reverend Al Sharpton called on all across the world to stand for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honour of George Floyd’s moment of torture.
“Take your knee off our necks!”
You can view the memorial service in its entirety below.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior National & International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper who watched the Memorial Service for George Floyd with tears his my eyes.
Photo Credits: feature photo from Time Magazine, Photo of Ludacris and Kevin Hart from Page Six. Photo of Benjamin Crump from Yahoo News. Photo of George Floyds family at his memorial in Minneapolis from CBC. Youtube video of George Floyds memorial service in Minneapolis from Reuters.