Minneapolis is set to hold a George Floyd Memorial on Thursday amid the coronavirus pandemic and a divisive presidential election campaign. It will be a highly emotional service for the black man whose death in police custody sparked a wave of protests and chaos in America.
In addition, Reverend Al Sharpton, a political analyst and civil rights advocate who will give a eulogy at the service, struck a positive tone on Thursday morning, celebrating the unity of demonstrators against police brutality.
He said to MSNBC, “I’ve seen more Americans of different races and ages, standing up together, marching together, raising their voices together.”
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“We are at a turning point here,” Sharpton added ahead of the event, due to start at 1 p.m. Central Time (1800 GMT).
Massive crowds violated curfews and, for nine nights, took to the streets of cities around the country. Sometimes, with aggressive demonstrations, that led President Donald Trump to decide to call in the troops.
Also, the demonstrations plunged overnight into early Thursday after prosecutors brought new charges against four Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing. Moreover, several major cities have been scaling back or lifting curfews imposed over the last few days. But it was not all calm.
Moreover, police in riot gear rushed through a crowd of around 1,000 demonstrators defying a curfew in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City.
After long refusing to criticize a sitting president explicitly, former Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, denounced a militarization of the response to civil unrest.
Besides, the current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stated that he had not supported the use of troops to patrol the region.
Mattis shared his grievances against the president in a statement published in the Atlantic. “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.”
“Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort.”
Mattis resigned from his position as the defense secretary in 2018.
George Floyd Memorial
Floyd memorial will span six days, and three states, the Floyd family attorney, told the media. His killing steered the race issue to the top of the political agenda five months before a presidential election on November 3.
Memorials will also take place on Saturday in Hoke County, North Carolina, where Floyd’s sister lives; and on Monday in Houston, near where Floyd lived, media reported. A funeral with private services at a non-disclosed location is planned for Tuesday.
On Wednesday, prosecutors leveled new criminal charges against four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death.
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