MINNEAPOLIS — The mural of George Floyd projected above his golden coffin, where mourners knelt and cried, paused and prayed at his memorial service Thursday had a simple message: “I can breathe now.”
Celebrities, civil rights activists, politicians and family members of Floyd gathered in Minneapolis to pay their respects to the man whose death at the hands of police has sparked protests worldwide and calls for an end to racial injustice.
The memorial at the Frank J. Lindquist sanctuary at North Central University was the first service to be held in the next six days across three communities where Floyd was born, grew up and died. Projected above the pulpit inside the sanctuary was the blue and orange mural that’s been painted at the site of a makeshift memorial in the neighborhood where Floyd pleaded for air on May 25 as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air.
A small band and choir sang the gospel classic “Goin’ Up Yonder” as mourners gathered.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson entered and prayed for several moments over Floyd’s golden casket. Others followed his lead, including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Jackson and Klobuchar greeted each other and spoke for a few minutes, before heading to their seats.
Others in attendance included U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Ayana Pressley and Joyce Beatty; rappers T.I., with his wife Tiny, Ludacris, and Tyrese Gibson; comedians Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish; and actress Marsai Martin.
Watch George's Floyd memorial LIVE down below.