Posted 33 days ago
George Floyd was remembered by family and friends at a memorial service on Thursday that mixed poignant memories and humorous moments of his life with calls for genuine social justice.
In one of the most moving moments of the service, the Rev. Al Sharpton asked those in attendance to stand in silence together for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the length of time that police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck, the video of which sparked national outrage.
“That’s how long he was laying there. They had enough time. Now what will we do?” Sharpton said.
The major TV networks carried the moment without breaking into coverage, and NBC cut away to shots of demonstrators across the country bowing their heads in silence.
Sharpton spoke to a crowd that included political and civil rights leaders and celebrities, and told mourners that “for those who agendas that are not about justice, this family will not let you use George as a prop.”
Speaking of props, “I’ve never seen anyone hold a bible like that [and] I’ve been preaching since I was a little boy,” said Sharpton in a veiled reference to President Donald Trump, who earlier this week had his photo taken in front of DC’s St John’s Episcopal church, which had been damaged.
“If he is watching, I’d like him to open that Bible and reach Ecclesiastes 3: ‘To every season, there is a time.’ I’d like him to understand what time it is.”
“This is the time for dealing with accountability in the criminal justice system,” Sharpton said, then called for greater transparency about police officers’ records, noting that police have records on citizens before saying, “Why don’t we know if police have a pattern?”
He said, referencing Obama-era policies that, “We gotta go back to consent decrees.”
“There is a time and a season for everything,” he continued. “Time is up. Time is out. This is the time.”
“You all talk about making America great,” said the reverend. “Great for who and when? We gonna make America... (Read more)