George Floyd Memorial Services Continue With Public Viewing in Houston
By Desiree Murphy
Kerem Yucel / AFP
Memorial services for George Floyd continue this week, following a ceremony that was held at North Central University's Frank J. Lindquist Sanctuary in Minneapolis last Thursday.
On Monday, a six-hour public viewing was held for Floyd at The Fountain of Praise in Houston, Texas, the city he grew up in after moving there from North Carolina with his family. Floyd briefly left Houston for a few years to play basketball at South Florida State College, and then moved to Minneapolis several years ago in search of a better life. He died on May 25 at the age of 46.
"We're anticipating close to 10,000 and that's what we're preparing for," La'Torria Lemon, a spokeswoman for the funeral home, told CNN ahead of the viewing, which began at 12 p.m. CDT and continues until 6 p.m. CDT.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, guests were required to wear masks and gloves before entering the church, and only 15 people were allowed inside at a time, NPR reports.
Joe Biden is also expected to meet privately with Floyd's family on Monday. Additionally, he has recorded a special video message for Floyd's funeral service, which will be held in Houston on Tuesday.
CNN reports that guests expected for Tuesday's funeral include Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump, retired boxer Floyd Mayweather (who has committed to covering the funeral expenses), entertainers Slim Thug, Leela James and Paul Wall, and U.S. Rep. Al Green.
Following Floyd's memorial in Minneapolis last week, ET spoke with Kevin Hart and Tyrese Gibson, who attended the service. Hart said his presence at the memorial was about "standing with the family."
"[It's] just literally letting them know that they're not alone. We now have a job to do, which is elevate our voices, use our platforms and really push the initiative for change," he shared. "So for me, it was a no-brainer just to come. More importantly, when you just look at what's going on globally, you look at the many different voices that are now being used and people are lying to themselves."
"You make it a point to be a part of a mission that's for good, and I think that right now it's not only time for change, but I think that it's happening," he added. "There's a positive in every negative, and I think there's gonna be an amazing positive coming out of this."
Gibson shared similar sentiments, telling ET, "Unfortunately as a black man, we have been in these rooms way too many times."
"God has given us all a platform, a stage, an influence... this pain is going to turn into a lot of benefits for a lot of people," he expressed. "I thank God I am here. I just want to send my most sincere prayers. I just hope the family will invite Lord Jesus Christ, because only he can give them a level of security and stand with them. This all hurts."