'This was not just a tragedy it was a crime': Al Sharpton delivers emotional eulogy criticising Trump at George Floyd's funeral

‘If four black cops had done to one white what was done to George, they wouldn’t have to teach no new lessons...They would send them to jail’

'This was not just a tragedy it was a crime': Al Sharpton delivers emotional eulogy at George Floyd's funeral

The Rev Al Sharpton has given a rousing speech at the funeral of George Floyd in Houston, addressing violence against African Americans, the legacy of slavery and Donald Trump‘s failure to address the issues behind the police killing in Minneapolis that has led to a global movement for racial justice.

In a powerful and wide-ranging eulogy, the veteran civil rights leader paid tribute to family members of other black men and women killed by law enforcement officers and other white Americans – including Ahmaud Arbery, George Brown and Trayvon Martin – who were attending the funeral.

Mr Sharpton criticised the president for his silence on the issues behind police violence, invoking the almost nine minutes that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin spent kneeling on Floyd’s neck.

He said: “How are you going to scare a bad cop if bad cops don’t go to jail? Who taught these cops that they can do this to George?

“When they have the highest level of government that excuses it. When some kids wrongly start violence that this family don’t condone and none of us do, the president talks about bringing in the military. But he has not said one word of 8 minutes and 46 seconds of police murder against George Floyd.”

Mr Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers with him also face criminal charges over Floyd’s death.

Mr Sharpton called for a commitment to seek justice “because lives like George’s will not matter until somebody pays the cost”.

“If four black cops had done to one white what was done to George, they wouldn’t have to teach no new lessons... They would send them to jail,” he said.

Joe Biden issues emotional message to George Floyd's daughter

“This was not just a tragedy. It was a crime. This family has borne this.”

He added: “This is a time that we need to understand that they are going to do everything they can to delay these trials and delay the countability and try to wear this family down.”

Family members remembered Mr Floyd by “Perry”, his middle name, as a gentle giant and a ”pesky little rascal” who they loved.

“As long as I’m breathing, justice will be served for Perry,” said niece, Brooke Williams.

“These laws need to be changed. No more hate crimes, please... Someone said make America great again, but when has America ever been great?”

The reference to Mr Trump’s campaign slogan was part of a recurring theme directly criticising the president for not adequately addressing

“[Donald Trump] has not said one word of 8 minutes and 46 seconds of police murder against George Floyd,” Mr Sharpton said.

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