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Mourners Pay Their Respects To George Floyd At Public Viewing In Houston

The casket of George Floyd arrives Monday for a public memorial at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston.
Eric Gay
/
AP
The casket of George Floyd arrives Monday for a public memorial at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston.

Updated 10:50 p.m. ET

Mourners gathered for a final public memorial to George Floyd on Monday in his hometown of Houston.

Floyd, who was killed by police on May 25, was honored Monday afternoon at The Fountain of Praise church during a viewing that drew a stream of visitors through the day.

Services for Floyd have previously been held in Raeford, N.C., near his birthplace, and in Minneapolis, where he was killed.

Flower wreaths are seen at George Floyd's memorial in Houston on Monday.
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
/
Houston Public Media
Flower wreaths are seen at George Floyd's memorial in Houston on Monday.

His family will hold a private funeral service Tuesday in Houston.

Floyd's death has sparked widespread protests, both across the United States and in countries across the world, including Germany and England, calling attention to police mistreatment of communities of color and pushing for criminal justice reform.

Political figures in attendance

Joe Biden, the former U.S. vice president and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, was in Houston on Monday and to meet privately with Floyd's family.

"Biden will not attend the funeral itself, out of concern his Secret Service detail would create a disruption. However, he will record a video message to be played at the service," Andrew Schneider of Houston Public Media reported.

The NPR member station also reported hundreds of people, including politicians such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, were in attendance Monday to pay their respects to Floyd and his family.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist and cable television host, on Monday tweeted a picture of himself, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., Biden, family attorney Benjamin Crump and Floyd's uncle Roger Floyd.

Lines stretch to church parking lot

Visitors to the memorial service were required to wear both masks and gloves in an effort to adhere to coronavirus prevention guidelines.

Mourners attend Floyd's memorial Monday at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston.
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
/
Houston Public Media
Mourners attend Floyd's memorial Monday at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston.

Some wore T-shirts that read "Black Lives Matter" and "I can't breathe" on the front, while others brought flowers and cards. Some wiped tears from their eyes as they filed past Floyd's open gold casket.

Houston Public Media's Matt Harab tweeted video of lines stretching to the parking lot as people waited for their turn to enter the church.

Harab also reported Gladys Alex was passing out black "unity ribbons" outside the church as a way to bring mourners together. "We are the United States and we need to behave that way," she told Houston Public Media.

Floyd will be buried next to his mother, Larcenia Floyd, The Associated Press reported, at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in the suburb of Pearland.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.

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