Church Leaders, George Floyd's Family Gather for Prayer Service ahead Trial

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Mar 29, 2021
Church Leaders, George Floyd's Family Gather for Prayer Service ahead Trial

Civil rights leaders from across the nation joined George Floyd's family members at a prayer service Sunday in Minneapolis.

Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing Floyd's family, were in attendance.

"I wanted them to see all these people come," Sharpton said during the event. "I wanted them to know we're with them... we will be there with them until the end."

Floyd, a Black man, died in May after a White police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for about nine minutes while Floyd lay on the ground handcuffed. The arrest was captured on video and widely viewed.

Police had been investigating whether Floyd used a counterfeit bill at a nearby store.

"My brother complied," Philonise Floyd said during the service. "He said, 'I can't breathe.' He said, 'mama.' He said, 'tell my kids I love them'... Nobody should have to go through that; nobody should have to endure that."

Family and supporters met Sunday at the Greater Friendship Missionary Church, where a choir sang and speakers asked for justice for Floyd.

"I think about my brother every day, every night. I think about his kids and the next generation's kids. I need justice for George. We need a conviction," Philonise said.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The Sunday prayer service was held ahead of Chauvin's trial, which starts Monday. Proceedings are expected to continue for about four weeks.

"I have faith that he will get convicted," Philonise said. "Just like everybody who's seen that video because the video is the proof."

Three other officers who were present during Floyd's arrest will be tried together in the summer. They are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Stephen Maturen/Stringer

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.