Family and friends of George Floyd have started preparing to pay their final tribute and goodbyes to him at a funeral service here on Tuesday, weeks after the African-American was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, triggering widespread marches and violent protests across the US.
The 46-year-old victim, a native of Houston, was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by the white police officer who kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath.
Floyd’s death triggered nationwide violent protests with a section of the protesters resorting to looting and rioting across the country, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
His body arrived in Houston late on Saturday for a funeral service and burial scheduled for Tuesday.
In a tweet on Sunday, Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that “George Floyd and his family are safely in Houston.”
Floyd will be laid to rest next to his mother on Tuesday, confirmed a media representative for the Floyd family.
Former Vice President Joe Biden confirmed he will meet with Floyd’s family in Houston on Monday, according to a campaign aide.
Mr. Biden is not expected to attend the service because of his Secret Service protection. However, he will still offer in-person condolences and will also record a video message for Floyd’s funeral service, the aide said.
Two memorial services
There will be two memorial services in Houston this week, a public viewing on Monday and an invitation-only memorial service on Tuesday.
The public viewing and private funeral will both be held at the same church, The Fountain of Praise at 13950 Hillcroft Avenue.
The public viewing is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. (local time).
Those attending the public viewing of Floyd on Monday will be provided with transportation.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said all guests should not arrive at noon. Only 15 people will be allowed in the church at a time and guests will not be able to stay any longer than 10 minutes after viewing.
People attending the funeral will be required to maintain social distancing and to wear masks and gloves. Backpacks or large bags will not be allowed. Casual attire is permitted.
Only a quarter of the church’s capacity will be used due to social distancing, and about half of those in attendance will be Floyd’s family, sources said.
It will be a private, ticketed event, with invited guests include Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Sharpton, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump and retired boxer Floyd Mayweather, who has committed to covering the funeral expenses among others, according to the Fountain of Praise Church.