For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, thousands in Minneapolis, Minnesota, stood silently with their heads bowed to remember George Floyd, the unarmed Black man killed by police here last week.
It was the same amount of time that a white police officer knelt on Floyd’ neck as he cried out: “can’t breathe”. It was an amount of time that has become a rallying cry across the United States against police brutality and violence against Black people.
Thursday’s service was the first of several memorials scheduled before Floyd will be buried in Houston, Texas, where he grew up. A weekend memorial is scheduled in North Carolina, where Floyd was born.
Philonise Floyd told mourners that his brother was like “a general” and people wanted to follow him. He described George Floyd as a man who made people feel “like the president”. People “wanted to greet him, wanted to have fun with him”, he said.