MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans and people around the world came together to remember George Floyd Thursday.
Family, friends and civil rights leaders honored a man they say should still be alive, and called for action after his death.
The private service at North Central University near downtown Minneapolis ended with a symbolic and emotional moment. Everyone stood for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.
The service inside was private, but crowds gathered outside to pay their respects.
The crowd from all walks of life filled the street outside the Trask Word and Worship Center to share in the memorial. WCCO spoke to Minneapolis mother Mauduline St. Jean, who was outside with her young Black sons to honor the life lost, and to hopefully be a part of the push for change that everyone at the event is expecting.
“I wanted to come and be a part of this. Like, if you’re not going to be a part of it to make change, it’s just not going happened,” Mauduline St. Jean said. “You have to put your voice into the whole discussion about racial injustice.”
Her son Zachary spoke about his purpose in being at the event.
“[I want to] make a change in the world to show that I’m not a statistic. I’m a human being. It’s to show that Black lives really matter,” Zachary St. Jean said.
Most memorial services signal closure for those experiencing the loss of a loved one, but this one is different. For people here like Minneapolis resident Dan Olson, it’s not over. The fight for justice is just beginning.
“The community’s really pulling together, but it’s a nice reminder of what the focus is,” Olson said.
People from all different backgrounds were connected by love, and hope that the tragedy that brought them all there is a foundation for change.
“I had no doubt in my mind that people would come together like this. The community is strong here, and that’s a great thing about Minneapolis,” Olson said.
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