The United States buries George Floyd

In silence, funeral workers carried George Floyd's coffin to Houston’s Fountain of Praise Church, where a private funeral service is scheduled for midday. On his way, the police formed an honor hedge.

It now represents a global symbol of police and racist violence in the United States. The time for the last goodbye has come: the city of Houston, Texas, buries George Floyd on Tuesday June 9 after numerous tributes.

The coffin of this 46-year-old African American, killed by a white policeman a fortnight ago in Minneapolis in the north of the country, arrived in the morning at the Fountain of Praise church, in the Texas metropolis where he lived most of his life.

In complete silence, funeral staff carried him into the building, where a private funeral ceremony is scheduled for midday. On his way, the police formed an honor hedge.

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The police have been on the dock since his death on May 25, in circumstances that continue to freeze America: pressed to the ground, handcuffed, George Floyd was asphyxiated by agent Derek Chauvin, who is remained kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Video of the scene, which has gone viral, has pushed Americans to take to the tens of thousands on the streets to demand an end to police brutality and racial discrimination, in protests of unprecedented scale since the civil rights movement for years 1960.

"Racism is not just an American problem, but a global problem"said his family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump. "It’s all together that we will defeat him", he said on Monday after the last public tribute to George Floyd.

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Six thousand people come to greet his coffin

As with a first tribute to Minneapolis on Thursday, the sermon will be delivered by Reverend Al Sharpton, a figure in the defense of civil rights.

About 6,000 people marched all day Monday in front of his coffin on display in the church, for a prayer or to say a last word to him, fist raised, under the gaze of his brother, Philonise Floyd, very moved. "It hurts a lot to be here, it's hard and painful", he told them.

Tuesday, the ceremony will be reserved for 500 guests: relatives, some personalities like rapper Paul Wall or boxer Floyd Mayweather, as well as elected officials. As with a first tribute to Minneapolis on Thursday, the sermon will be delivered by Reverend Al Sharpton, a figure in the defense of civil rights.

George Floyd will then be transported to a nearby cemetery, where he will 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 agent appeared on video for justice for the first time since the high security prison in which he is detained. During this short procedural hearing, the judge fixed the amount of her release bond at $ 1 million, subject to certain conditions.

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It took four days for him to be arrested and charged, first with manslaughter. His three colleagues involved in the tragedy were not then worried.

This apparent leniency of justice had stirred anger and, by the last weekend in May, the protests had escalated into violence, with clashes and nightly looting in several cities across the country.

The charge against Derek Chauvin has since been reclassified as "Murder", a crime punishable by 40 years in prison, and his three colleagues were arrested and charged with complicity.

Unyielding donald trump

But peaceful protests continue: tens of thousands of people marched again this weekend, holding up signs "Black Lives matter" (Black lives matter) and calling for substantive law enforcement reforms.

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Their appeals have been heard by Minneapolis City Council, which plans to dismantle municipal police to put everything back on track. In Congress, nearly 200 elected officials, mostly Democrats, introduced legislation to end the broad immunity enjoyed by police officers.

President Donald Trump continues to want to show the same firmness in the eyes of his electoral base as since the beginning of the movement. "We are not going to cut the police funds, we are not going to dismantle the police"said the Republican billionaire.

In France, tributes are planned in several cities (Lille, Grenoble, Paris, Dijon, Amiens …), to salute the memory of George Floyd, when his funeral will take place.

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The World with AFP


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