Thousands of mourners gather for George Floyd memorial service in his home state of North Carolina

Between 30,000 and 40,000 people were expected to pay their respects to Mr Floyd at a Baptist church in the small town of Raeford. He died at the age of 46 in police custody

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Saturday 06 June 2020 19:26
Mourners stand in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at George Floyd memorial service

Streams of mourners lined up early today outside a Baptist church in Raeford, North Carolina to pay their respects to George Floyd.

The state's governor, Roy Cooper, ordered all flags to be flown at half mast on Saturday as mass demonstrations continued over racial injustice and police brutality following his killing.

Mr Floyd, 46, died on Memorial Day in Minneapolis after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee to his neck for almost nine minutes.

Though Mr Floyd spent most of his life in Houston, Texas, he was born in Fayetteville and much of the family still calls North Carolina home.

A private family service was scheduled for 3pm after the public viewing.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported that mourners were allowed in 20 at a time to view Mr Floyd, and had been arriving from dawn.

The local sheriff’s office expected that between 30,000 and 40,000 people would come to pay their respects.

Dressed in a tan suit, his body lay in a gold, open casket. Although his family had asked for no flowers, mourners left numerous floral tributes.

A memorial service was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Thursday. On Tuesday, a further memorial will be held in Houston. Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is expected to attend.

In a statement, Governor Cooper said: “The unjust killing of George Floyd combined with many other recent and distant events broke open painful wounds. Racism. Excessive use of police force. Health disparities. Poverty. White supremacy. These are wrong. They are ugly, but they are present. We must deal with them. We will deal with them. George Floyd’s sister, Bridgette, lives in Hoke County, North Carolina. While I cannot bring her brother back, I can work for justice in his name. I assured her that’s what we would do."

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