Thousands gathered in Houston, Texas, Tuesday to bid a final farewell to George Floyd — the man whose last moments sparked outrage and protests across the country.
In the two weeks since Floyd’s death, tens of thousands flooded the streets across the US decrying police brutality and demanding lasting change. Floyd’s friends and loved ones say they hope his funeral isn’t the end — but instead marks the beginning of that widespread call for change.
Jonathan Veal, Floyd’s longtime friend, told CNN’s Don Lemon Tuesday night the two talked about the impact they wanted to make on their world and added Floyd had once said, “I want to touch the world.”
That comment, back in the eleventh grade, was prophetic in nature,” Veal said. “He is literally having a global impact.”
In the face of continuing demonstrations, city and state leaders have moved to tackle police reform. Members of the Minneapolis City Council announced they intend to defund and dismantle the city’s police department. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he intends to quickly sign a package of police reform bills legislators are preparing. And across the US, at least 11 cities and municipalities are starting to ban or have banned police officers’ use of chokeholds, according to data gathered by CNN.
In other parts of the country, the use of tear gas by police was suspended after authorities faced harsh criticism by both demonstrators and other community leaders.
Seattle’s City Hall filled with hundreds of protesters Tuesday who called for the mayor’s resignation after she announced a 30-day ban on tear gas but police continued to use it to disperse protesters.
Pallbearers bring George Floyd’s casket into the Fountain of Praise church in Houston on Tuesday, June 9. Floyd will be buried next to his mother, according to the Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center.
Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office responded with a statement to CNN affiliate KOMO Tuesday saying there was still “critical work that needs to be done.”
“Now we are faced with the pain and trauma relating to the murder of Mr. Floyd and the generations of systemic racism in our city and country that rightfully need to be addressed not through words but action,” the statement said.
Former Minneapolis officer tried to negotiate plea deal
Meanwhile, Floyd’s case is ongoing and all four officers involved in his death have been charged.
Derek Chauvin, who is seen in a bystander’s video pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as the man begged for his life, was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors have added a more serious charge of second-degree murder.
Local news station KMSP reported Chauvin was negotiating a plea deal with the Hennepin County District Attorney’s office and the US Attorney before being charged and arrested