They braved the sun and heat to make him a last tribute. Monday, 8 June, thousands of people in Houston (Texas) are collected in front of the coffin of George Floyd. The ceremony of homage to the black man of 46 years old, died on 25 may during his arrest by white police officers in Minneapolis, took place at the church the Fountain of Praise. "I thank you all for coming to see my brother", has launched Philonise Floyd in the afternoon to address the crowd. "This makes it very hard to be here, it is hard and painful," he added, in tears.
Some in the crowd wore t-shirts bearing the effigy of George Floyd or crossed out the phrase "I can't breathe", he uttered in his agony. Others have lifted the fist arriving in front of the coffin in which rests his mortal remains. Pandemic is forcing, the mask-wearing was made compulsory in the church and the visitors, of whom one had taken the temperature, had only a few seconds to collect before leaving their place.
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"special Moment in history"
Joseph Qualls attended the same high school that George Floyd in the "Third Ward". For him, his death is all the more painful that he admired. "It was the first person that I knew in my neighborhood to get a university scholarship," says the hairdresser of 38 years. Kelvin Sherrod, 41, was obliged to come with his wife and two boys of 8 and 9 years old. The whole family wears a black t-shirt with the inscription "I can't breathe". The death of George Floyd has affected his children, " he says. "They told me 'what happened, what they have done to the mr ?'".
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so It was "important for me to be here with them," said the inhabitant of Houston. "It is a special moment in history and they'll remember that they took part in this". In the midst of this mourning, Kelvin Sherrod said, despite everything, happy that so many people are coming. "This brings us together as a country, regardless of your skin color".
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Solidarity and unity
Candice, also came to pay tribute to George Floyd before his funeral on Tuesday, was pleased also to see "the country together" in a protest movement. "It is time to change this and we must overcome the oppression, police violence and racism," she said.
In the crowd, mostly black, of white Americans hold to pass on a message of solidarity and unity. Sarah Frazzell, 33 years old, came with five of her friends and bouquets of flowers "to support the family of George Floyd and the black community". The importance of the crowd "shows America that there is a problem," she said.
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The death of George Floyd is the latest of a long series in recent years of the death of black men, for the most part unarmed, killed by police officers. Like Eric Garner, who was asphyxiated by officer white in New York in 2014. "They did it again, they have taken another life," said his mother, Gwen Carr, invited by the family of Floyd for the funeral. "This is why justice must be done," she added, saying that the "black sheep" had to be taken out of the ranks of the american police.