Multiple services will be held in coming days to honor George Floyd's life after a week of protests across the country.
The 46-year-old black man died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and saying he couldn’t breathe. Floyd's death sparked protests and violence in Minneapolis and around the country. Memorial and funeral services will be held in three states: Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas.
On Thursday, a memorial service will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the North Central University in Minneapolis, according to a release from the Rev. Al Sharpton's civil rights organization, the National Action Network. Sharpton will deliver a eulogy, a statement from Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump will be delivered and Floyd's family members will participate.
On Saturday, another memorial will be held in Raeford, North Carolina, where Floyd was born, Crump said at a news conference Monday. Floyd's sister, Bridgette, lives in Hoke County.
The service will be held at the Cape Fear Conference B Headquarters from 1 to 3 p.m., according to a release from Crump. A private, family-only service will follow the public viewing.
The Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center is handling arrangements for the service in Texas. On Monday, there will be a public viewing from noon to 6 p.m. local time at the Fountain of Praise in Houston, where Floyd grew up. The funeral and burial will be June 9 at 11 a.m.
Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to attend the funeral next week, according to a Latorria Lemon, a spokesperson for Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center. Crump first announced Biden's attendance during an interview on Facebook with CNN commentator Van Jones.
Center operator Bobby Swearington said they are working to find a way to livestream the services on their Facebook page and website. To prevent the spread of coronavirus during the service, every visitor at the public viewing will be required to wear masks and gloves, Swearington said, and guests will occupy less than 600 of the church's 2,300 seats.
Swearington said there has been an outpouring of support for the family from the community and local law enforcement. Former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has offered to pay for Floyd’s funeral and memorial services, and the family has accepted the offer. Mayweather personally has been in touch with the family, according to Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions.
Swearington added that the funeral directors are working tirelessly on the details for what may be largest national service the center has ever performed.
"This service has given us the opportunity to try to bring the community together in love and in an event to celebrate the life of Mr. Floyd," said Swearington. "To have been given this great task, we don’t take it lightly here at Fort Bend."
Contributing: The Associated Press; Michael Futch, The Fayetteville Observer
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