Jun 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Remembering George Floyd

George Floyd's memorial service
Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

With politicians, clergy and law enforcement in attendance on Thursday in Minneapolis, the family of George Floyd demanded recognition for his life well lived.

Why it matters: Floyd has become the latest symbol of police brutality after he was killed last week when a police officer held a knee to his neck.

Floyd — or Perry, as his family called him — in their words:

  • "Everywhere you go and see people, how they cling to him. They wanted to be around him," said his brother Philonise, per the N.Y. Times.
  • Even for homeless people and drug addicts, "when they spoke to George, they felt like they was the president, that's how he made them feel."
  • "Being in the house with my brother, it was inspiring," he added, "because my mom used to take in other kids, and they were George's friends." He spoke of sharing a bed with his big brother, making banana-and-mayonnaise sandwiches and playing football.
  • "The thing I miss most about him is his hugs. He was just this big giant," said his cousin Tera Brown.

And in New York City, his brother Terrence Floyd said "power to the people, all of us" at a memorial in Brooklyn's Cadman Plaza.

  • "I'm proud of the protests but I'm not proud of the destruction. My brother wasn't about that. The Floyds are a God-fearing family."

The big picture: At the memorial on Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton likened Floyd's death to the everyday African American experience in America.

  • "The reason we could never be who we wanted to be and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck."
  • "It's time for us to stand up in George's name and say get your knee off our necks."

Below: Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo (R) kneels as Floyd's remains were taken to the memorial service.

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Below: Reps. Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley pay their respects.

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Below: The Rev. Jesse Jackson (R) and his son Jonathan Jackson pay their respects.

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Below: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey pays his respects.

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

What's next: Sharpton said the family will be among those leading a march on Washington this summer for federal policing equality.

  • The details and planning of the march are still in the early stages, according to CBS News' Wesley Lowery.
  • Martin Luther King III will be involved in the planning.
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