The renowned Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in white police custody, today at a memorial service in Minnesota.
Sharpton, a baptist minister and civil rights activist, is slated to speak at the private service, which will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. CT at North Central University in Minneapolis.
The memorial remembers Floyd, who was killed in a police-brutality case that rocked the nation, in the city he was slain. The civil rights organization National Action Network is helping to organize the event.
The family’s attorney Benjamin Crump is among the scheduled speakers, as well as Floyd’s family members.
Although a guest list for the event has not been made public, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he is planning on attending.
How to watch:
The service will be broadcasted on WCCO-TV and on CBSN Minnesota.
Date: Thursday, June 4, 2020
Time: 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Online stream: Live on CBSN on their website
Who is Al Sharpton?
Sharpton has made a name for himself as an outspoken activist in the fight against racial prejudice and injustice.
A disciple of the teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Brooklyn native has championed police reform and accountability. He has called for the elimination of unjust policies like “Stop-and-Frisk,” according to the National Action Network, and is also a radio/television talk show host for MSNBC’s PoliticsNation.
Sharpton has gained a large following of both supporters and critics over the years. He has most notably received criticism for his dramatic flare when delivering soundbites — which some think takes away from his overall message.
He played a role in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and more recently, hosted rallies in Florida to fight for justice in the Trayvon Martin case.
The author of three books, Sharpton has received numerous awards, including the Harold Washington Award from the Congressional Black Caucus and the Mandela Legacy Hope, Success & Empowerment Award.
In August 2018 he spoke at the funeral of Aretha Franklin in Detroit.
Sharpton on Floyd: ‘We’re Going To Make Sure That This Prosecution Goes Down’
Sharpton held a prayer vigil for Floyd on May 28, where he called for the arrest of the four officers involved in his death.
Floyd died on Memorial Day after being arrested over the use of a $20 counterfeit bill at a corner store. Scores of protests erupted nationwide after harrowing cell phone footage emerged showing former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Two autopsies performed on Floyd’s body have since declared his death a homicide, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office.
On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison charged Chauvin with an additional count of second-degree murder — last week he was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The three ex-officers seen with him at the scene were also charged Wednesday, with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“The reason you see anger in Minneapolis is because this is not the first time,” Sharpton said during the vigil.
The minister was joined by Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr. Garner was choked to death by an NYPD officer in 2014, sparking national unrest similar to that of Floyd’s.
Carr said she came to stand in solidarity with Floyd’s family, and commended the mayor for his swift involvement in the firing of the four officers.
Sharpton delivered an impassioned speech in which he called for justice.
“There’s a difference between peace and quiet. Some people just want quiet. The price for peace,” he said, “is justice.”
Another memorial event will be held Saturday afternoon in North Carolina, where Floyd was born.