A memorial service for George Floyd was held in Minneapolis on Thursday (June 4). Floyd’s family and friends, community leaders and activists all gathered at North Central University in Minneapolis while people around the world watched from their homes.
Martin Luther King III, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and Sen. Amy Klobuchar sat alongside T.I. and his wife Tiny, Ludacris, Master P, Kevin Hart, Tyrese, Tiffany Haddish, Will Packer and black-ish actress Marsai Martin and paid their respects.
Sharpton, who was in charge of the eulogy, passionately addressed the crowd and made it clear this was not just another service.
“I want us to not sit here and act like we had a funeral on the schedule,” he said. “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.
“He died because of there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught this country that if you commit a crime, it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing blue jeans or a blue uniform, you must pay for the crime you commit.”
Floyd was killed on May 25 after ex-Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, ultimately causing his death. A second, independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family ruled his death a homicide by asphyxia.
While Chauvin and the other three officers involved were immediately fired, Chauvin was the only one initially arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. That changed on Wednesday (June 3) when Chauvin’s charge was upgraded to second-degree murder and the remaining officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
In the wake of Floyd’s death, riots and protests have erupted not only across the United States but also the entire world as the cries for racial equality grow exponentially louder.
Stream Floyd’s memorial below.
Hip Hop has not been silent during this crucial time in history. JAY-Z called MN Governor Walz to help get George Floyd’s case into the hands of Attorney General Keith Ellison, Russ raised over $150k for Black Lives Matter, The Weeknd donated $500k to various BLM causes, Drake donated $100k to a bail relief fund, and Killer Mike provided a powerful speech addressing Atlanta amid city wide protests. These efforts are only a few highlights among the many people who are doing what they can to help spread messaging and advance the Black Lives Matter movement.