A ceremony in memory of George Floyd, whose death under the knee of a white police officer sparked a deep wave of anger in the United States, began Thursday in Minneapolis after a quieter night in the country than previous ones.
A large crowd gathered in the early afternoon at North Central Christian University to pay their first public tribute to the 46-year-old African American who died of asphyxiation on May 25 during his arrest.
The ceremony began with a moving rendition of “Amazing Grace” after the mayor of Minneapolis knelt, crying, before the coffin.
Speaking, the brother of the deceased, Philonise Floyd, applauded “the pandemic of racism and discrimination” that prevailed.
Reverend Al Sharpton, a figure in the civil rights movement, will deliver a eulogy in this big city in the state of Minnesota.
“I can see the sun starting to rise on a new day for the maintenance of order,” he said on Thursday morning optimistically on MSNBC after meeting the day before family of the victim.
Happy to see “Whites and Blacks” mingling in processions “at the risk of their health in the midst of a pandemic”, he hopes to see the movement become long-term, in a “peaceful but poignant” manner.
Another ceremony in memory of George Floyd is scheduled for Saturday in Raeford, in his hometown of North Carolina, before his funeral on Monday in Houston, Texas, where he grew up before joining Minneapolis. The final funeral ceremony on Tuesday will be restricted to those close to the ex-vigil.
No major incident
Filmed by a passer-by, the slow agony of the father, immobilized on the ground for almost nine minutes under the knee of the white policeman Derek Chauvin despite his pleas – “I can’t breathe” – provoked an atmosphere of tension that the United States had not known since the 1960s and the civil rights movement.
Demonstrations sometimes degenerating into looting and violence took place daily throughout the country to denounce police brutality, racism and social inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the emotion crossed the borders of the United States, several large American cities decreed night curfews to try to contain the overflows. On Thursday, they were lifted in Los Angeles and Washington.
Police have made a total of nearly 10,000 arrests in the country in recent days, according to an estimate reported by American media.
But after more than a week of excesses, the night from Wednesday to Thursday proved to be quieter overall, with no major incidents to be regretted, the demonstrators having obtained a first “victory” in the judicial plan.
As they claimed, the prosecutor investigating the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis reclassified the facts as intentional homicide, charging Derek Chauvin with “unpremeditated murder” – a count of 40 years imprisonment – and aiding and abetting the three other agents present.
Witness to the scene, a friend of the African American forties told New york times that the latter, father of two, had at no time sought to “resist” his arrest, “in any way.”
“He was just calling for help because he was dying,” said Maurice Lester Hall, forever marked by “fear” and tears on his friend’s face.
” PUBLIC ORDER ! “
Charged by the Democratic opposition for throwing fuel on the fire by threatening to use the army to check the streets, Donald Trump continues to want to be firm.
” PUBLIC ORDER ! He still tweeted early in the morning in capital letters in what will certainly be one of the themes of his re-election campaign until the presidential election on November 3.
One of his former ministers struck him head-on on Wednesday, accusing him of wanting to “divide” America.
“In my lifetime, Donald Trump is the first president who does not try to bring the Americans together, who does not even pretend to try,” wrote a former defense minister in a column for The Atlantic. Jim Mattis, who had resigned to protest the withdrawal of American troops from Syria.
His successor at the head of the powerful Pentagon, Mark Esper, himself distanced himself from the president on Wednesday by saying he was opposed to the idea of deploying the army in the big cities of the United States to curb the vast movement of current protest.