George Floyd memorial holds 8 minute, 43 second silence to commemorate his death

5 June 2020, 10:24

Mourners gathered at Minneapolis North Central University for the funeral of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in May.
Mourners gathered at Minneapolis North Central University for the funeral of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in May. Picture: Getty

During George Floyd's funeral in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the crowd fell silent for eight minutes and 46 seconds - the length of time officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck.

George Floyd’s family gathered at Minneapolis North Central University yesterday (June 4) for a memorial service, a week after Floyd's tragic death.

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During the service, a silence was held by Reverend Al Sharpton for 8 minutes and 43 seconds - the length of time police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck.

A memorial service for George Floyd took place at Minneapolis North Central University on Thursday.
A memorial service for George Floyd took place at Minneapolis North Central University on Thursday. Picture: Getty

"Somebody said 8 minutes 46 seconds is a long time," Rev. Sharpton told the crowd, which included Floyd’s family and a host of celebrities. "It’s long enough for that police officer to know what he was doing… to rethink.

"As you go through these long eight minutes think of what George was going through, laying there, begging for his life, narrating his own death. We cant let this go, we cant keep living like this."

"There’s no excuse. they had enough time. now what will we do with the time they have?" said Sharpton later in the service after he concluded his powerful eulogy.

George Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd speaks during a memorial service in honour of his brother.
George Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd speaks during a memorial service in honour of his brother. Picture: Getty

Floyd, 46, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis after Chauvin applied pressure to his neck despite Floyd desperately crying "I can't breathe". He was confirmed dead after being taken to hospital.

In addition to Floyd's family, he service was attended by notable people including civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King III, Tiffany Haddish, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Hart, Ludacris and TI.

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George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, spoke of the worldwide outcry in reaction to his brother's death during the service, as protests continue to take place across the globe.

"All these people came to see my brother. That’s amazing to me that he touched so many people’s hearts because he touched our hearts," said Philonise.

Martin Luther King III and family show their respect to George Floyd during a memorial service in Minneapolis.
Martin Luther King III and family show their respect to George Floyd during a memorial service in Minneapolis. Picture: Getty

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that all four former police officers involved in the death Floyd have been charged. Chauvin, 42, has had charges against him upgraded from third-degree murder to second-degree murder, and the other three officers in connection with the killing will also be charged.

Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

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