Between tears, slogans: the funeral of George Floyd, in a Texas church on Tuesday, mixed tributes to this black man killed by a white police officer and fiery calls to attack, finally, racism which “Hurts the soul” from America.
From family to pastors, President Donald Trump was repeatedly mistreated at this funeral in Houston’s Fountain of Praise Church, where this 46-year-old African American had spent most of his life.
A figure in the civil rights struggle, Reverend Al Sharpton, who delivered the funeral praise broadcast live in millions of homes, even accused the president of “Maleficence”accusing him of encouraging the police to believe they are above the law.
On a more intimate note, the relatives of the deceased, very moved, welcomed “Big George”, their “Superman”, their “Sweet giant” whose stature – almost two meters – did not prevent a police officer from suffocating him, kneeling for almost nine minutes on his neck, two weeks ago in Minneapolis, in the north of the country.
“You have to grieve in public, it’s difficult”, told them Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, in a very personal video broadcast during the ceremony. But for him, “The time for racial justice has come”.
That’s the message I shared with his loved ones during today’s service: pic.twitter.com/2LKJzwBUSO
– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 9, 2020
“We can no longer turn away from the racism that hurts our souls”added the former vice president of Barack Obama, which enjoys great popularity among black voters.
“Clean the White House”
Several elected Democrats succeeded each other in the gallery, but it was George Floyd’s young niece who first ventured into clearly political terrain.
“Some say he wants to make America great again”said Brooke Williams, referring to Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. “But, when was America big?” “
“The first thing we need to do is clean up the White House”added shortly after the Rev. Bill Lawson, calling, to the applause of the church, the Americans to ” vote “.
After reporting a death “Sad and tragic”, President Donald Trump, who is running for a second term in November, opted for a firm speech, emphasizing the violence that shook several major cities the last weekend in May.
Again on Tuesday, he had no word for George Floyd or the victims of racist violence. On the contrary, in a tweet, he questioned the credibility of a 75-year-old man recently pushed by the police during a demonstration.
Reverend Al Sharpton fiercely criticized him for the speech. “The president spoke of calling the soldiers in for reinforcement” to bring calm to the United States, “But he did not have a word for the 8 minutes and 46 seconds of this police murder”he added, while admitting that Donald Trump had addressed in private “His sympathy” to the family.
“The message conveyed is that, if you are in the police force, the law does not apply to you”, lamented the pastor, who had the relatives of dead African-American men killed by police stand up, one by one, including Eric Gardner and Breonna Taylor.
Interspersed with gospel songs, the funeral also saw an artist draw the face of George Floyd in white line, on a black canvas.
Rare white figure to speak, Pastor Steve Wells called out to his community: “We are better than before, but we are not as good as we should be. “ “You must act for more racial justice”, he implored.
At the end of the ceremony, the body of George Floyd left in a hearse, greeted by a crowd with their fists raised. He must be buried alongside his mother Larcenia, who died in 2018, whose nickname he had. “Cissy” tattooed on the chest. During his ordeal, he had begged the police officer Derek Chauvin to release him by imploring ” mum “.
Become the face of police brutality, the 44-year-old officer has been charged with murder and is being held in a high security prison. Three of his colleagues involved in the tragedy were also arrested and charged with complicity.