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Joe Biden and Rev. Al Sharpton deliver remarks at George Floyd’s funeral in Houston

Former Vice President Joe Biden drew from his Catholic faith to offer words of empathy to George Floyd’s family and implored Americans to take on the fight of racial justice.”No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have asked for generations. Why? Why is daddy gone?” Biden said in a message delivered via video at Floyd’s funeral.Addressing Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, Biden called on Americans to look through her eyes and question why racial injustice exists, challenging the nation to address it directly.”Looking through your eyes, we should also be asking ourselves why the answer is so often too cruel and painful,” he said. “Why, in this nation, do too many black Americans wake up knowing that they could lose their life in the course of just living their life? Why does justice not roll like a river or righteousness like a mighty stream? Why?”Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t turn away. We must not turn away. We cannot leave this moment thinking, we can once again turn away from racism,” said Biden, the expected Democratic nominee for president.Biden’s comments came as family, friends and prominent figures gathered for Floyd’s private funeral at The Fountain of Praise Church in Houston on Tuesday to celebrate his life and issue a clarion call for justice.

Pallbearers bring the coffin into The Fountain of Praise church in Houston for the funeral for George Floyd on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis Police officers on May 25. (Godofredo A. V??squez/Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool)

The service, limited to 500 people, will feature a eulogy by the Rev. Al Sharpton and remarks by Biden, Rep. Al Green of Texas, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. The funeral comes two weeks after Floyd was killed while in Minneapolis police custody. His death sparked protests in the US and around the world, which have called for changes in policing and law enforcement’s relationship with black and brown communities. Family members of other black people killed by police, including Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, are also in attendance.Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather is handling all the expenses for Floyd’s funeral.

Family members react as they view the casket during the funeral of George Floyd on June 9, 2020, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas.The service is a celebration of Floyd’s life, said Mia K. Wright, the co-pastor of The Fountain of Praise church.”In the tradition of the African-American church, this will be a home-going celebration,” Wright said.”Now you know what that means, that means foot-stomping, toe-tapping, shouting ‘Hallelujah,’ praising God, because we are celebrating his life,” Dr. Remus Wright added.After the service, Floyd’s body will be escorted by the Houston Police Department into Pearland’s Houston Memorial Gardens, according to the city of Pearland. His body will travel the last mile of the procession in a horse-drawn carriage, the city said. He will be buried next to his mother — who Floyd called out for in his final moments.The Rev. Mary White referenced that call as she offered a prayer of comfort during the service.”We thank you for the life of George Floyd, oh God. That at a moment he called out for his mama, we believe that the ears of mamas across this nation reared up. That the ears of mamas across this world heard him cry even though for one mama, all mamas began to wail. We began to wail for our children. We began to wail for our grandchildren. We wail for men across this world because of one mama’s call,” she said.

Floyd’s life in Houston

Floyd was born in North Carolina, where hundreds of people lined up Saturday for a public viewing of his casket. Floyd graduated from Jack Yates High School in Houston in 1992, where he helped the football team win the state title. He also played basketball as a power forward.

Thousands of mourners visit George Floyd’s casket in Houston to pay respectsBefore moving to Minneapolis, Floyd was well known in the Houston music scene, rapping with a group called Screwed Up Clik (SUC).Actor Jamie Foxx are among those expected at the funeral, Lemon said.Floyd died May 25 after former police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.Chauvin has been fired and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd’s life in Houston

Floyd was born in North Carolina, where hundreds of people lined up Saturday for a public viewing of his casket. Floyd graduated from Jack Yates High School in Houston in 1992, where he helped the football team win the state title. He also played basketball as a power forward.

Before moving to Minneapolis, Floyd was well known in the Houston music scene, rapping with a group called Screwed Up Clik (SUC).Actor Jamie Foxx are among those expected at the funeral, Lemon said.Floyd died May 25 after former police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.Chauvin has been fired and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd was a role model

On Monday, thousands of mourners gathered at The Fountain of Praise church to pay their respects to Floyd. The memorial was the third stop in a series of events to celebrate his life.Floyd was a huge role model for a lot of people, his brother, Philonise Floyd, said during Monday’s visitation ceremony.”He was the first person who everybody looked up to in our neighborhood because he was the first one to get a scholarship to go and play basketball or football when he wanted to do,” Philonise Floyd said.Floyd was someone who also had a beautiful soul, his younger brother, Rodney Floyd, said.”If he was told he would have to sacrifice his life to bring the world together, and knowing him, I know he would’ve did it,” Rodney Floyd said.He added that he’s still processing the death. “It seems unreal because, you know, every day is like waiting on that phone call. I’m still calling his phone number.”

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