Across the US and overseas, a wave of protests against racism and the police killings of black Americans have been sparked by the death of George Floyd.
A 46-year-old African American man, Floyd died after died in police custody after an officer was videoed kneeling on his neck. In the distressing viral footage, policeman Derek Chauvin – who has since been charged with murder – knelt on Floyd for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly called out “I can’t breathe”.
Three other officers who were present at the incident now face counts of aiding and abetting murder.
Protestors in London’s Hyde Park
Floyd’s death reignited deep-seated anger over the killing of black citizens, with his final moments mirroring thos of Eric Garner. Another African American, Garner also told police “I can’t breathe” as he was placed in a chokehold on New York’s Staten Island in July 2014. He later died.
Such deaths have highlighted the generations of black Americans who have suffered police brutality and racial discrimination. Demonstrators – many organised by campaign group Black Lives Matter – have also taken to the streets in London and Manchester to protest racial injustices in the UK.
Now, several memorial services paying tribute to Floyd are being held throughout the world. Here’s everything you need to know.
How to watch the George Floyd memorial service
The first of several George Floyd memorial services will be held at 7pm BST (2pm ET/11am PT in the US) on Thursday 4th June.
The service will be held in Minneapolis at North Central University’s Frank J. Lindquist Sanctuary. Reverend Al Sharpton will deliver a eulogy, while Floyd family attorney Ben Crump will also address those watching.
The service is being live-streamed by NBC News on Youtube. You can watch this below.
Memorial services for Floyd will also be held on Saturday 6th June at 8pm (3pm ET) in North Carolina, and 6pm (1pm ET) Tuesday 9th June in Texas. Details on how to watch services have not yet been announced.
Who was George Floyd?
George Floyd was an unarmed 46-year-old black American who died after a forceful arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25th May 2020. Suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill, Floyd was retrained on the ground and handcuffed, one white officer kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
As was captured by a viral video of the arrest, Floyd called out several that he could not breathe. During the last three minutes, Floyd was motionless. The white police officer, Derek Chauvin, made no attempt to revive Floyd.
Two autopsies determined Floyd’s death was a homicide.
Known as “Big Floyd” by his friends, Floyd was the father to a six-year-old daughter.
How to donate to the George Floyd fund UK
People in the UK can donate to the George Floyd’s Memorial Fund. This crowdfunder – set up by Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s sister – seeks to cover Floyd’s funeral and burial costs, alongside grief counselling for the family.
As the page states, “A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.”
Black Lives Matter UK, a coalition of black activists and organisers across the UK, has been campaigning for justice and equality since 2016.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund
You can donate to their current fundraising appeal by visiting their GoFundMe page.
Aiming to raise £500,000, the group aims to make change “at the level of law”, and distribute educational resources and provide relief to black communities disproportionally hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Is there a George Floyd petition?
Yes. With over 10 million signatures, the Justice for George Floyd petition on Change.org is the most signed in the site’s history.
The petition is seeking to “get justice for George and his family”.