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George Floyd to be buried in Houston: Live updates

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George Floyd to be buried in Houston: Live...

  • George Floyd will be laid to rest in Houston, where he was born, two weeks after his death in Minneapolis police custody sparked worldwide protests. 
  • Floyd’s death has launched a nationwide debate over defunding the police after being pinned down by the neck for nearly nine minutes by a police officer who has been fired, arrested and is being held on $1.25mn bail.
  • Both Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Trump, a Republican, say they oppose defunding the police, though they have sharply different views on what the future of policing in the US should look like. 


Tuesday, June 9

21:45 GMT – US Navy to ban Confederate flags from all public spaces on bases, ships and aircraft

The United States Navy is working to ban the Confederate battle flag from all public spaces on Navy installations, ships and aircraft, the Navy said on Tuesday, as the military and the country as a whole grapple with questions about racial inequality.

“The order is meant to ensure unit cohesion, preserve good order and discipline, and uphold the Navy’s core values of honour, courage and commitment,” the Navy said in a statement.

The move follows the Marine Corps ordering the removal of the Confederate flag from all its installations, including prohibiting depicting the flag on mugs and car bumpers, and word on Tuesday that Army officials were “open” to the idea of renaming 10 Army bases in the US South named for Confederate icons of the Civil War era.

20:47 GMT – Grammy winner Ne-Yo: Floyd ‘changed the world for the better’

Grammy-winning singer Ne-Yo said George Floyd’s death was a sacrifice that “changed the world” before performing during his memorial service.

Ne-Yo shed tears on Tuesday while singing a rendition of G.C. Cameron’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” The singer paused on a few occasions to collect himself during his performance.

“Fifty states are protesting at the same time,” he said. “This man changed the world. He changed the world for the better. I would like to personally thank George Floyd for his sacrifice, so that my kids could be all right later on. I appreciate the sacrifice. I genuinely do.”

20:30 GMT – Al Sharpton promises to return for trial of officers involved in Floyd death

The Reverend Al Sharpton told mourners at the funeral for George Floyd that he and other supporters of the slain Minneapolis man will return to the city where he died when those responsible face judgment in court.

“We will be back in Minneapolis, when the trial starts,” Sharpton said, “because you have the police union on one side, but the righteous is gonna be on the other side of that court.”

Delivering the main eulogy at the funeral, the New York civil rights activist called Floyd’s death more than a tragedy. It was, he said, a crime.

“Until these people pay for what they did we will be there with them because lives like George Floyd will not matter until somebody pays the cost for taking their lives.”

“Your family will miss you but your nation will always remember your name,” he said, referring to Floyd.

20:09 GMT – Mississippi legislators renew effort to remove Confederate emblem from state flag

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in the southern state of Mississippi on Monday began drafting a resolution that would change that state’s flag – the last in the United States that incorporates the Confederate battle emblem.

The effort, which enjoys the support of the speaker of the state house, Philip Gunn, is the first attempt by the legislature to change the flag since the state voted in 2001 by a nearly 2-to-1 margin to keep the current flag, according to a report on the Mississippi Today news service.

If such a bill were to pass both chambers of the state house, it would need to be signed by Republican governor Tate Reeves, who has said he wants voters – not legislators – to decide the fate of the flag.

Mississippi state flag confederate

A spectator waves his Mississippi state flag during speeches at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi. [File: Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo]

19:34 GMT – Hundreds line streets, brave sweltering heat in Houston suburb where Floyd will be buried

Hundreds of people have lined up in the Texas heat along a road in suburban Houston that leads to the cemetery where George Floyd will be buried.

Many arrived hours ahead of time in Pearland, Texas, to get a spot Tuesday as they waited for the procession to come by after Floyd’s funeral ends at a church in Houston.

There was no shade along the procession route in Pearland and a heat advisory was issued for the area with temperatures in the 90s.

Marcus Brooks and a group of friends and graduates of Jack Yates High School, where Floyd graduated, set up a tent by the grassy side of the road. The 47-year-old Brooks said he had the tent specially created in crimson and gold, the colors of Yates High School, where Floyd played tight end. Past and present members of the football team signed the tent.

“We’re out here for a purpose,” Brooks told the Associated Press news agency. “That purpose is because first of all he’s our brother. Second, we want to see change. I don’t want to see any black man, any man, but most definitely not a black man sitting on the ground in the hands of bad police.”

19:22 GMT – Texas congresswoman signals support for Floyd protesters

Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says George Floyd’s death has ignited a movement that “will not sit down” until there is justice for Floyd.

“I want to acknowledge those young marchers in the streets,” Jackson Lee said at Floyd’s memorial service on Tuesday. “Many of them could not be in this place. They are black and brown, they are Asian. They are white. They are protesting and marching. And I’m saying as a momma, ‘I hear your cry.’ That is what George Floyd wanted us to know.”

Lee said she is unable to remove the Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe” from her head. But the congresswoman said his death served a purpose.

“His assignment turned into a purpose,” she said. “And that purpose was heard around the world. There are people rising up that will never sit down until you get justice.”

19:15 GMT – IBM to exit facial recognition business, joins call for police reforms

IBM says it is getting out of the facial recognition business over concern about how it can be used for mass surveillance and racial profiling.

A letter to lawmakers in the United States on Monday from new IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said the tech giant “has sunset its general purpose facial recognition and analysis software products”.

Krishna was addressing Democrats who have been working on police reform legislation in US Congress in response to the death of George Floyd. The sweeping reform package could include restrictions on police use of facial recognition.

Krishna’s letter called for police reforms and said “IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling” and human rights violations.

18:19 GMT – Pentagon officials open to ‘starting a discussion’ about renaming Army bases named for Confederate icons

Officials at the United States Pentagon said on Tuesday signaled that they were open to starting a discussion about changing the names of 10 military bases named for Confederate generals from the US civil war era.

According to Stars and Stripes, both Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy want to have a “bipartisan discussion” about the topic.

The turnabout would mark a substantial change in the Army’s position on the naming of the 10 Army posts – Fort Lee, Fort Hood, Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Bragg, Fort Polk, Fort Pickett, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Rucker and Camp Beauregard.

All the bases in question are located in Southern states and most were named during the south’s Jim Crow era in the 1910s and 1940s.

In a statement issued by, a former commanding general at Fort Benning in Georgia, retired Major General Paul D. Eaton, said he cannot fathom how Black soldiers must feel serving on bases named for a “traitor to the United States, a racist and an incompetent warfighter”. He likened it to Jewish soldiers serving at bases named for Nazi leaders.

“If the Army is going to be true to the idea that it judges its people by their skills and qualifications, and not their race, having bases named after those who believed otherwise is incompatible with the Army itself,” Eaton said. “The Secretary of the Army should order these bases renamed, today. This does not take an act of Congress. This does not require a conversation. It requires courage and action now.”

17:56 GMT – Joe Biden: ‘Now is the time for racial justice’

In a pre-recorded video testimonial aired at George Floyd’s funeral in Houston, Texas, former Vice President Joe Biden reached out to the surviving children of George Floyd with a heartfelt plea for their future and said, “Now is the time for racial justice.”

“I know you have a lot of questions, honey,” he said, addressing Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, who was in attendance at The Fountain of Praise church. “No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations. Why? Why is Daddy gone?”

“Why in this nation, do too many black Americans wake up knowing that they could lose their life in the course of just living their life? Why does justice not roll like a river or righteousness like a mighty stream? Why?”

Biden added, “Little Gianna, as I said to you when I saw you yesterday, you’re so brave. Daddy’s looking down and he’s so proud of you.”

“When there’s justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America.”

17:05 GMT – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ‘disgusted’ by Trump tweet about Buffalo protester

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday he was “disgusted” by President Donald Trump’s claim that a 75-year-old man seen in video being pushed by a Buffalo police officer during a protest “fell harder than (he) was pushed”.

“President Trump did a tweet today that surprises me even after all the tweets he has done,” Cuomo said at his daily news briefing.

“You read his tweets, you get to a point where you say, ‘Well, nothing could surprise me – I’ve seen it all,'” Cuomo added. “And then you get surprised again. You get shocked again. You get disgusted again.”

Trump suggested that the protestor, Martin Gugino, had staged his fall at the hands of an officer during a protest last Thursday, and that he could be “an ANTIFA provocateur” who appeared to be trying to electronically black out police communications.

Two Buffalo officers were arraigned on assault charges on Saturday over the incident, which left Gugino hospitalized.

16:45 GMT – New York Stock Exchange observes 8-minute, 46-second moment of silence

The New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday observed an 8 minute and 46 second moment of silence in honour of George Floyd, who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for that length of time. The moment of silence at the NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc, began at noon, to coincide with the beginning of Floyd’s funeral.

16:33 GMT – Floyd funeral begins in Houston, Texas

The funeral service for George Floyd began in Houston, Texas on Tuesday, with family members and other invited dignitaries filing into The Fountain of Praise church to pay their respect. The funeral caps off six days of mourning for the black man whose death inspired a global reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice.

Guests at the service will include Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Reverend Al Sharpton, Floyd family lawyer Benjamin Crump, Slim Thug, Leela James, Paul Wall, Floyd Mayweather, Congressman Al Green, Bishop James Dixon, and others. Sharpton will deliver the eulogy.

Mourners pause by the casket during a funeral service for George Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church, Houston, Texas, USA, 09 June 2020. A bystander's video posted online on 25 May, appeared to sho

Mourners pause by the casket during Floyd’s funeral service [David J. Phillip / POOL/EPA]

In a burial following the service, Floyd, will be laid to rest next to his mother in the Houston suburb of Pearland.

About 6,000 people attended a public memorial on Monday, many of them waiting for hours in the searing Texas heat to pay their respects.

15:45 GMT – New York officer caught violently shoving protester charged with assault

A New York City police officer who was caught on video violently shoving a woman to the ground during a protest over the death of George Floyd was charged Tuesday with assault and other counts, prosecutors announced.

Officer Vincent D’Andraia is also being charged with criminal mischief, harassment and menacing in the May 29 altercation in Brooklyn in which protester Dounya Zayer says her head hit the pavement, resulting in a concussion, a seizure and a trip to the hospital, according to a news release from prosecutors.

D’Andraia, 28, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who said he was “deeply troubled by this unnecessary assault”.

The Police Department suspended D’Andraia last week without pay. He had been assigned to Brooklyn’s 73rd Precinct.

The head of D’Andraia’s union, the Police Benevolent Association, said the mayor and police leaders were “sacrificing cops to save their own skin” by sending officers out to protests with “no support and no clear plan”.

“They should be the ones facing this mob-rule justice,” union president Pat Lynch said in a statement. “We will say it again: New York City police officers have been abandoned by our leadership. We are utterly alone in our efforts to protect our city.”

15:35 GMT – New York state moves forward with sweeping police reform legislation

A sweeping package of police reform measures has started to move toward passage by the New York state legislature in the wake of the wave of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

The state Assembly and the Senate, both of which are controlled by Democrats, on Monday passed a ban on police officers using chokeholds to subdue suspects and a bill requiring law enforcement to disclose racial disparities in policing.

In the coming days, New York lawmakers will take up other bills, including the repeal of so-called section 50-a of the civil rights law that shields officers from having their disciplinary records disclosed.

“The legislation that will be passed over the coming days will help stop bad actors and send a clear message that brutality, racism, and unjustified killings will not be tolerated,” New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he supported the reforms and would sign the bills into law.

Police unions including New York City’s powerful Police Benevolent Association, however, have pushed back against the state’s legislative agenda, which they said amounted to an “attack on law enforcement.”

13:55 GMT – Hearse carrying George Floyd’s body arrives at the The Fountain of Praise church in Houston 

A collection of flowers outside the church contain messages that include ‘Justice for George Floyd’, a church officials says the focus of the funeral service will be how Floyd lived.

“We celebrate a life that had its ups and downs as many lives do but also a life that was connected to God and one that all people around the world have now connected to because of the tragedy and the trauma by which he passed,” church co-pastor Mia K. Wright told CNN.

The funeral is private but will be live streamed, following the service he will be laid to rest alongside his mother Larcenia Floyd.

The hearse carrying the coffin arrives at the church for the funeral for George Floyd on June 9, 2020, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapo The hearse carrying George Floyd’s coffin arrives at the The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas. [Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP] 

13:40 GMT – Trump tweet about protester pushed down by Buffalo police sparks online condemnation

US President Donald Trump tweeted that a 75-year-old demonstrator pushed to the ground by two police officers in Buffalo, NY suffering severe head injuries may have been a member of an amorphous movement Antifa, that Trump has threatened to designate a “terrorist” group.

Trump claims with no evidence, that Martin Gugino was ‘appearing to scan police equipment’. The president has repeatedly characterised those clashing with police as organized, radical-left thugs engaging in domestic terrorism, though there is little evidence. 

His tweet about Gugino has sparked a backlash.

The two Buffalo officers have been suspended, prompting 57 other officers to quit the force’s emergency response team.

13:05 GMT – London’s mayor announces that more statues of controversial  figures could be removed from Britain’s streets

Following the unauthorized felling of a slave-trader’s monument, as the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis continued to spark protests — and drive change — around the world, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was setting up a commission to ensure the British capital’s monuments reflected its diversity.

The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm will review statues, murals, street art, street names and other memorials and consider which legacies should be celebrated, the mayor’s office said.

“It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been willfully ignored,” Khan said.


Funeral celebrates the life of a man whose death sparked global protests against police violence and racism.


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