The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy for George Floyd during a memorial service that took place on Thursday, June 4, 2020, at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Along with Sharpton, the nationally televised service featured speeches from members of Floyd’s family and attorney Ben Crump. Other notable attendees included Kevin Hart, Ludacris, Tiffany Haddish, T.I., Tyrese, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Sharpton used the opportunity to take aim at the history of racism in America while alluding to Floyd dying after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck.
“The reason we could never be who we wanted to be and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck,” Sharpton said. “What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services and in every area of American life. It is time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks.”
After his eulogy, Sharpton gave attendees and viewers a chance to experience the length of time that Floyd endured a knee pressed to his neck while handcuffed.
Sharpton asked everyone to stand for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in silence. After the time had elapsed, Sharpton said, “That’s a long time. That’s how long he was laying there.”
Memorial services for Floyd are scheduled to take place Friday, June 5, in North Carolina and Saturday, June 6, in Houston.