Jun 4, 2020

Full George Floyd Memorial Service Transcript

George Floyd Memorial Service Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsSpeech TranscriptsFull George Floyd Memorial Service Transcript

A memorial service was held on June 4 for George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. Robin Wilkerson, Scott Hagen, Benjamin Crump, Philonise Floyd, Shareeduh Tate, Brandon Williams, and Reverend Al Sharpton all spoke at the funeral. Full transcript here.

 

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Robin Wilkerson: (32:00)
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We need everyone to please take their seat. The family is here. We need these center aisles, the center aisle clear. We need anyone in the center aisle to my left and your right, please clear that aisle so the family can proceed in and take their seats. We also need everyone to please cut your cellphone off. Please cut off your cellphones. And let’s receive this family with dignity. Thank you so much for coming.

Robin Wilkerson: (45:37)
( singing)

Robin Wilkerson: (45:37)
Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. Again, we need you to socially distance yourself. It’s every other seat. Please ma’am, please sir, if you’re sitting directly next to someone, can you please socially distance yourself. Thank you so much for your cooperation. Thank you.

Robin Wilkerson: (50:59)
(singing) Good afternoon. You may be seated. My name is Robin Wilkerson and I am the co-chancellor of North central University. To all the friends and the family of George Floyd and all of our esteemed guests here today, I want to welcome you on behalf of the university, on behalf of Dr. Scott Hagen president, on behalf of the Board of Regents, on behalf of the faculty. We’re so grateful that you’re here with us today, and we’re honored that you have come to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Mr. George Floyd. On behalf of everyone here, I want to personally express our deepest condolences for this tragic loss.

Robin Wilkerson: (52:10)
Now to open this service, this celebration of his life, we will have a scripture reading from Reverend Jerry McAfee, pastor of New Salem Missionary Baptist church followed by an opening prayer from Dr. Scott Hagen, president of North Central University, and a solo by Mrs. Tawana Porter.

Robin Wilkerson: (52:44)
On behalf of the pastors and preachers from Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Blood’s on the South side, Gangster Disciples and Vice Lords on the North side, Psalm 27. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. The war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble, he shall hide me in his pavilion and the secret of his tabernacle surely hide me. He shall set me up upon a rock.

Dr. Scott Hagen: (53:53)
Just once again, on behalf of North Central University, I want to welcome the Floyd family to our campus. This is truly an undeserved honor for our university. I’ve been praying all week that this sacred space would become a table of healing for the Floyd family, for the city of Minneapolis, and for the world that is grieving beyond these walls. In just a moment I want to offer a brief prayer. But before I offer that brief prayer, I just want to announce as president of this school, the institution of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship. Even before announcing this scholarship yesterday, unsolicited over $53,000 was handed to me to contribute toward the educational promise of aspiring young black American leaders. But here’s what I really want to say. Far beyond North Central University, I am now challenging every university president in the United States of America to establish your own George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund so people across this nation can give to the college of their choice. It is time to invest like never before in a new generation of young black Americans who are poised and ready to take leadership on our nation. So university presidents, let’s step up together.

Dr. Scott Hagen: (55:53)
I want to invite you now to pray with me, if you will. Lord, your word in Proverbs 31 is dynamically clear. It says to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and the helpless and see that they get justice. Lord, we are asking today for you to take this table of healing here in Minneapolis today and multiply this healing all over this nation as part of that now never fading voice crying out on behalf of those who have been and who are now being crushed in body and spirit. At this table of healing today, Lord, we ask that you touch the Floyd family with supernatural comfort and grace, that they may be granted a few moments of respite as their beloved father and brother and son is remembered in a way that honors his life and his personal faith in Jesus Christ.

Dr. Scott Hagen: (56:57)
At this table of healing, we are asking you, Lord, to show us the way. Our city and nation are becoming rightfully despondent with neighbor set against neighbor. Help us to repent, not just seek to restore. As a nation, as cities, as universities, and as religious communities, heal, make new, and help us, oh Lord, rebuild our national family. And finally Lord, at this table of healing today, we are asking you to search our hearts as pastors, rabbis, priests, imams, business leaders, politicians, and educators, help us reconcile our failed witness and lead us forward as caring neighbors and diligent gatekeepers of mutuality and mercy. Guide this generation to change the national narrative on race and power and change all of our hearts until they match your heart. We ask all of these things in the name above all names, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dr. Scott Hagen: (58:03)
(singing)

Robin Wilkerson: (01:04:08)
Thank you to Tajuana. Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful. Yes. Yes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We’re going to have the opportunity now to hear in just a moment from loved ones, friends and family of George Floyd. But before that, I would like to welcome to the podium attorney Benjamin Crump for his remarks. Would you please welcome him? Thank you.

Benjamin Crump: (01:04:58)
I’m attorney Ben Crump, and along with attorney Tony Romanucci and attorney Chris Stewart, as my co-counsels out front seeking justice, seeking justice, seeking justice for the family of George Floyd, along with a lot of other great attorneys who are working in the background, who I will mention briefly before we bring up the ones who knew George Floyd all of his life. I want to thank lawyers towing in the vineyards like Devin Jacob, Chris O’Neal, Lee Merritt, Daryl Parks, Jasmine Rand, Bill Pentoss and Carol Powell-Lexing because you may see Tony and Chris and I, but it’s a whole team of lawyers who are working because it’s going to take a united effort fighting in the courtroom and outside the courtroom to get justice for George Floyd.

Benjamin Crump: (01:06:19)
I would tell you all that because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have to stay on a strict schedule and we all have to do this social distancing. But I want to just put it on the record, Reverend Al, that it was not the coronavirus pandemic that killed George Floyd. I want to make it clear on the record. Will Packer, it was that other pandemic that we’re far familiar with in America, that pandemic of racism and discrimination that killed George Floyd. So before we make a plea to justice, we feel it appropriate that you hear from the people who really knew George the boy, knew George the adolescent, knew George the man and from whence George came.

Benjamin Crump: (01:07:35)
So I would ask that his brother Philonise Floyd, his brother Rodney Floyd, his cousin Shareeduh Tate, his nephew Brandon Williams, please come to the stage. And I would ask attorney Tony Romanucci and attorney, Chris Stewart to come and stand with me behind them as united they tell the world while we should celebrate the life of George Floyd. Please come up family.

Philonise Floyd: (01:08:59)
How you all doing first? My name is Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd. We come up together. We didn’t have much. Our mom did what she could. We would sleep in the same beds, play video games together, go outside and play catch with the football. And I used to say to myself like, man, you can’t throw, you can’t throw at all. You know what I mean? Because the ball never came to me. And years down the line because I was catching with one hand, two hands, anyway you threw it I started being able to catch it. He said, I can throw, but I just wanted you to go get the ball.

Philonise Floyd: (01:09:49)
The ball don’t need to come to you. You need to go get the ball. But, my brother, we did a lot of things from like talking with my mom, dancing with my mom, cooking with our mom, brothers and sisters, man, so much. We made banana mayonnaise sandwiches together. It was a family thing. Every day, we know when we come in the house, our mom was going to have a huge plate of food separate from each other. And we would sit there and argue with each other who plate it was and I’m like 10 or 11 and I’m talking about the plate with six pieces of chicken is mine, and he way bigger than me.

Philonise Floyd: (01:10:37)
You know what I mean? He’s huge. So man, from that being in the house with my brother, man, it was just like inspiring to other people because my mom used to take in other kids and most of them was George’s friends and they wanted to stay with her. They loved her, and my brother, he was okay with it. So then you had three, to me, they were grown then because they kicked me out the room. They were three men, like 16, 17. They grown, sleeping in the same bed, waking up, going to the same school. And they wouldn’t leave each other at all.

Philonise Floyd: (01:11:22)
They always wanted to be with each other at all times. I remember nights when the day before school, we didn’t have a washing machine. So we would all go in and put our socks and underwear in a bathroom sink and just start washing them, washing them. And we didn’t have detergent. We would use soap, but we were washing it. We were going to be clean. We’re going to be clean. So we would literally right after that, we would take the socks and hang them over the hot water heater. And we would take the underwear and hang them over there and we would fight about it.

Philonise Floyd: (01:12:01)
Me and his friends and all of them were like, no, no, no, no, you did it last night because your clothes probably still be damp the next day if you don’t put it on a hot water heater. So from that, and we learned a lot of stuff, but it’s crazy because we would like, we didn’t have a dryer. So the fastest way to dry your clothes was to put it in the oven and let it dry faster like that. So it was just, man, I love my brother, man. We had so many memories together. I remember him waking me up telling me, hey man, can you iron my clothes for me?

Philonise Floyd: (01:12:41)
And I’d look at him, but then I look at his size and I say, you right, big bro. You right. You know what I mean? Because it was just amazing everywhere you go and see people, how they cling to him. They wanted to be around him. George, he was like a general. Every day he walks outside, it’d be a line of people like just like when we came in wanting to greet him and wanted to have fun with him. Guys that was doing drugs like smokers and homeless people, you couldn’t tell because when you spoke to George, they felt like they was the president because that’s how he made you feel.

Philonise Floyd: (01:13:23)
He was powerful, man. He had a way with words. He could always make you ready to jump and go all the time. Everybody loved George. We didn’t call him George. We called him Perry. If you called him Perry, you knew him direct. Because Georgia was the name. Everybody called him Big Georgia or Big Floyd, Georgie Porgie. He had so many different names, but I’m going to go ahead and let …

Shareeduh Tate: (01:13:50)
Go ahead. Go ahead. I’m not stopping you. Go ahead.

Philonise Floyd: (01:13:54)
I’m just … Man, it’s crazy, man. All these people came to see my brother and that’s amazing to me that he touched so many people’s hearts because he’s been touching our hearts. You come to Third Ward where we’re from, people are crying right now. That’s how much they loved him. I’m just staying strong as I can because I need to get it out. I need to get it out. Everybody want justice. We want justice for George. He’s going to get it. He’s going to get it.

Shareeduh Tate: (01:14:36)
Good afternoon, everyone. I’m just going to echo some of the things that Philonise talked about, and that is that we come from a long line of large family members. Our mothers were siblings of 13. And if I can kind of fast forward a little bit, my aunt moved to, she lived in Houston and she would always talk about being there and not having any of the siblings close to her. So my mother decided to move to the Houston area back early ’80, ’81. And so we came to Houston and we were all excited that we could have somebody close to us because the only time we really would see each other is like during the holidays or when people would travel to visit my grandmother.

Shareeduh Tate: (01:15:24)
Long story short, I mean, we didn’t have a whole lot, but we always had each other and we always were taught that we could always bring other people into the fold, always no one should ever go home without having a meal or having food. And so that’s how as he talked about, my aunt was someone in the community, everybody, they called her Miss Sissy and all the kids loved to come over there. And she ended up having 30 or 40 kids that would come over there because they always knew that they could get something to eat if they came there. And not only food, but they could be loved and they could feel part of the fold.

Shareeduh Tate: (01:16:02)
So we were raised to always welcome people in and to embrace other people. And so you could see as all these people, no matter who you talk to, they will all say the same thing. And that is George was somebody who was always welcoming, always made people feel like that they were special and nobody felt left out. When he would enter into a room, everybody would feel like they were special. He would embrace them. As I think about the thing that I would miss about him most is his hugs. Like he was this great big giant and when he would wrap his arms around you, you would just feel like everything could just go away, any problems you had, any concerns you had would go away.

Shareeduh Tate: (01:16:46)
So while we’re all grieving, I just want to kind of highlight his children, Quincy, Javeon, Tangenika, Tyson, and Giana, and his three-year-old granddaughter Journey. We all need prayer. But if I am honest about it, we are more concerned about his children and his grandchildren. So I ask that you pray for us as we go along this marathon to make sure that justice is served on George’s behalf or Perry as we call him, ask that you pray for us and especially for their children. Thank you.

Rodney Floyd: (01:17:21)
How you all doing? I am Rodney Floyd, youngest brother of George Floyd. And my brother PJ was talking about childhood memories and how we grew up. And I would like to start where he left off. We didn’t have much growing up, but all that great stuff, how we dried and washed our clothes that were just ingenuity. I mean, hey, we worked with what we had, but didn’t have much, but we had a house full of love. And I mean, I appreciate the love of everyone in here and the state of Minneapolis you all adopted my brother and showed him so much love. And we feel that love in your city and thankfully everybody and plus around the world.

Rodney Floyd: (01:18:14)
It’s a beautiful thing this great love we’re receiving and George Floyd is receiving because he would love it. I wish he was here in the presence in the flesh to see it because all this great unit, it would bring you to tears like it’s bringing us. But share a fun memory of my brother, Big Floyd as you all know. Cooking-wise, he would beg me, honestly him and other brothers, three gentlemen my brother mentioned grew up in our house. So they would say little bro, you make the best grilled cheese. Can you please go make us one? If I tell you all as a little six and seven-year-old kid, I did that numerous times. I realized as I got older you all just using me.

Rodney Floyd: (01:18:56)
But, I was just happy to be doing it. But, my big brother, I mean great guy, great gentlemen, great man. And as a child without no father figure, he was big brother, but I didn’t see the little stuff they were throwing it out. He was doing the best he can and the mistakes he made. And I watching him, follow him, corrected myself as a grown man, as a teenager growing up and learning from him how to be a man and everything he instilled in us and told us. He was doing him, but he would teach us how to be a man because he was in his world already before us.

Rodney Floyd: (01:19:30)
And he gave us a lot of great lessons. And I mean, one thing about a man keep the [inaudible 01:19:35] Floyd responsibility. He would stand up for his family and friends and he’s great at that. And I want you guys to know that he would stand up for any injustice everywhere. Can you all please say his name?

Audience: (01:19:59)
George Floyd.

Rodney Floyd: (01:19:59)
Thank you all.

Brandon Williams: (01:20:05)
I’m Brandon Williams, George’s nephew. I call him Perry. We happen to share the same middle name for some reason. My mama wanted to name all of us after some of her siblings and coincidentally, I ended up with George. Growing up, I mean, I’m a lot younger than them, but my grandmother raised me. I didn’t have a father figure present in my life. So I grew up in the same house with them and my uncles were more of a father figure in my life. And with Perry being an alpha male, I gravitated to him. Coming up, I played sports. He did. And that kind of connected us and brought us real close. I’m trying not to be sad. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Brandon Williams: (01:20:53)
I just remember just all of the memories, man. So more than anything, I just want to say thank you to him just for being there. Just being a real genuine person, just being loving and caring and somebody I can count on no matter what. We didn’t have much, but coming up, my grandmother tried her best and wherever she slacked, he picked it up for me. He made sure I had sneakers and clothes and a lot of stuff like that. And I appreciate that. I’m going to end it with a funny story about he was the biggest LeBron James fan. And I remember, I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the NBA, but when the Cavaliers, they came back on the Golden State Warriors in the finals.

Brandon Williams: (01:21:44)
And I remember the very first phone call and I told him, Unc man, you’re too happy. You sound like you won the championship. We laughed about it. And he said, man, you know how I feel about LeBron. I did win the championship. So, and every time we would talk, I’d ask him, hey, how you doing, man? You good? And he said, I feel like I won a championship and that kind of stuff. It was just this inside thing we had. So I know with him being as strong a person he was and seeing everybody come together and just rally around him and extend all of the love and support to our family and man, we thankful and grateful.

Brandon Williams: (01:22:23)
And I know more than anything with everybody grieving and hurting, he would want us to feel like we won the championship. So I end on that note. Thank you all

Benjamin Crump: (01:22:46)
Please give his family another round of applause. Please show them love. Show them love. Thank you all so much for bearing your hearts. If we learned one thing, the Floyd boys liked to eat and also they had a conversation with Tyler Perry and it was pretty profound because they said we are the big extended black family that you portray, Will Packer, and others on your movie screens because we all need one another. And you can tell this family always needed George, and so it’s awfully difficult for them.

Benjamin Crump: (01:23:57)
The plea for justice is simply this Dr. Martin Luther King said “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really like cooperating with it.” TI, on that video what we saw was torture. Reverend Jackson, what we saw in that video was inhumane. Martin III, what we saw in that video was evil. And so, America, we proclaim as we memorialize George Floyd do not cooperate with evil. Protest against evil. John, the young people in the streets protesting against the evil, the inhumane, the torture that they witnessed on that video.

Benjamin Crump: (01:25:24)
We cannot cooperate with evil. We cannot cooperate with injustice. We cannot cooperate with torture because George Floyd deserved better than that. We all deserve better than that. His family deserves better than that. His children deserve better than that. Steve, all George wanted from life is what any of us want. As Thomas Jefferson said in the declaration of independence, that an alienable rights endowed by our creator, Tyrese, to life, liberty, and the pursuit to be happy on this earth. That’s all George was asking for like any and all of us, but he was denied those rights and we will seek justice in his name.

Benjamin Crump: (01:26:37)
We will all united as a people who are God’s children seek justice in his name. But beyond the specific justice, in his case, Chris, the prosecution of the four individuals who deprived George of his life, we seek a broader, more transformative justice. Reverend Al, a more just system of policing. Kevin, a more just treatment of people of color. Chris, a more just criminal justice system. In essence, what we are endeavoring to do, Brandon, is what my personal hero Thurgood Marshall said, make the constitution real for all Americans.

Benjamin Crump: (01:27:45)
You see, Justice Marshall said the basis of the constitution is simply this, that a black baby born a black mother, the most uneducated black mother, the most inarticulate black mother, the most impoverished black mother has the same exact rights as a white baby born to a white mother, the most educated white mother, the most articulate white mother, has the most affluent white mother just by virtue of that baby drawing its first breath as an American. Now Justice Marshall said, Reverend Jackson, I know that’s not the case in America today, but I challenge anybody to say, Tony, that that’s not the goal we’re fighting for.

Benjamin Crump: (01:28:48)
He said, I challenge anybody to say, that’s not what makes America the great beacon of hope and justice for all the world to marvel. So when we fight for the George Floyds of the world, but more importantly when we fight for the unknown George Floyds of the world, when we fight for the Trayvon Martins of the world, when we fight for the Terence Crutchers of the world, when we fight for the Michael Browns of the world, when we fight with the Alton Sterlings of the world, when we fight with the Philando Castiles of the world, when we fight for the Jamar Clarks of the world, when we fight for the Eric Garners of the world, when we fight for the Sandra Blands of the world, when we fight for the Ahmaud Arberys of the world, when we fight for the Breonna Taylors of the world, when we fight for the Natasha McKinneys of the world, when we fight for the Stephon Clarks of the world.

Benjamin Crump: (01:29:43)
When we fight for the least of these, what we’re really doing is helping America come live up to its creed. What we’re really doing is helping America be the great beacon of hope and justice for all the world to marvel. But most importantly, brothers and sisters, what we are doing is helping America be America for all Americans. What we want, TI, is not two justice systems in America, one for black America, and one for white America, what we endeavor to achieve is equal justice for the United States of America and George Floyd is the moment that gives us the best opportunity I have seen in a long time of reaching that high ideal that this country was founded on.

Benjamin Crump: (01:30:58)
Thank you so much. This is the plea for justice. On behalf of the family, the children, we will get justice. We are committed to it. Now, I would introduce you to a man who really needs no introduction who will eulogize George Floyd. He is a man who has fought for so many families that too many hashtags to remember. And when he gets the call, he always answers the call. Even when the cameras aren’t around, even after the cameras are gone. Ask Eric Garner’s family, ask Stephon Clark’s family, ask any of these families, the cameras have long gone, Tony, but Reverend Al continues to answer the bell when our people call.

Benjamin Crump: (01:31:57)
He is a leader that you see on TV commentating about our experiences, but more importantly, he is a leader who has lived our experiences and because he has lived those experiences, that’s what makes him so effective in commentating on MSNBC about our experiences. And he is going to talk about the experience of the terrible loss of somebody who should be with us today and that is George Floyd. Please give a great round of applause for the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Al Sharpton: (01:32:57)
Thank you. I want us to not sit here and act like we had a funeral on the schedule. George Floyd should not be among the deceased. He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction. He died because of there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught this country that if you commit a crime, it does not matter whether you wear blue jeans or a blue uniform, you must pay for the crime you commit. So it is not a normal funeral. It is not a normal circumstance, but it’s too common and we need to deal with it.

Al Sharpton: (01:34:28)
Let me ask those of you that in the traditions of eulogies need a scriptural reference, go to Ecclesiastes, third chapter first verse says “To everything that is a time and a purpose and season under the heavens.” I’m going to leave it there. I saw somebody standing in front of a church the other day where it had been bought it up as a result of violence, held The Bible in his hand. I’ve been preaching since I was a little boy, I’d never seen anyone hold a Bible like that, but I’ll leave that alone. But since he held The Bible, if he’s watching us today, I would like him to open that Bible. And I’d like him to read Ecclesiastes three, to every season there’s a time and a purpose. And I think that it is our job to let the world know when we see what is going on in the streets of this country and in Europe, around the world, that you need to know what time it is. First-

Al Sharpton: (01:36:03)
You need to know what time it is. First of all, we cannot use Bibles as a prop. And for those that have agendas that are not about justice, this family will not let you use George as a prop. If you want to get your stuff off, don’t use him. Let us stand for what is right. Because when I got the call from Attorney Crump, and usually when he calls me, it’s not to find out how I’m doing. It’s usually because something happened that he wants National Action Network and I to get involved. And he explained to me what was happening with this case. And I’d already heard about it in the media. And immediately I said, “Well, let me know what you want me to do.” He said, “Whatever you need to do.” One of the things, Martin, that I’ve always had to deal with is critics would say, “All Al Sharpton wants his publicity.” Well, that’s exactly what I want, because nobody calls me to keep a secret.

Al Sharpton: (01:37:39)
People call me to blow up issues that nobody else would deal with. I’m the blow up man and I don’t apologize for that. Because you get away too much with hiding things. Funny it’s talked about you all putting clothes in the oven to have your clothes dried. Well, I didn’t grow up in the third world, but I grew up in third ward. I grew up in Brownsville and we had roaches. Now I know Kevin Hart and some of the rich Hollywood folk here don’t know what roaches are, but we had roaches, Ludacris. And one thing I found out about roaches is that if you keep the light off, if you’re in the dark, a roach will pull up to your dinner table and have a five course meal. So I learned that one of the ways to deal with roaches is if you cut the light on, I could run them roaches and track them down. And I’ve spent all my life chasing roaches all over this country.

Al Sharpton: (01:39:22)
Soon as I talked to the family and got the details and heard that among George’s last words was, “I can’t breathe,” with a knee on his neck, I immediately thought about Eric Gardner. I did the eulogy at his funeral and I called his mother. And I said, “I know we’re not going out because of the coronavirus. But this is so much like Eric. If we could arrange some private way to go to Minneapolis, would you go?” And she said, “Reverend Al, I’m already packing. Let me know.” Tyler Perry said, “I’ll give the families the plane, whatever you all need because this is wrong.” Robert Smith said, “Don’t worry about the funeral costs.”

Al Sharpton: (01:40:20)
People across economic and racial lines started calling and getting in. And we flew out here, her and I last Thursday. And when I stood at that spot, the reason it got to me is George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to being is you kept your knee on our neck. We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our neck. We could run corporations and not hustle in the street, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills. We could do whatever anybody else could do, but we couldn’t get your knee off our neck. What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country in education, in health services and in every area of American life. It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say, “Get your knee off our necks.”

Al Sharpton: (01:41:54)
That’s the problem no matter who you are. We thought maybe we had a complex, TI, maybe it was just us. But even blacks that were broke through, you kept your knee on their neck. Michael Jordan won all of these championships and you kept digging for mess because you got to put a knee on our neck. Wait, housewives would run home to see a black woman on TV named Oprah Winfrey. And you mess with her because you just can’t take your knee off our neck. Man comes out of a single parent home, educates himself and rises up and becomes the president of the United States. And you ask him for his birth certificate because you can’t take your knee of our neck. The reason why we’re marching all over the world is we were like George, we couldn’t breathe, not because there was something wrong with our lungs, but that you wouldn’t take your knee of our neck. We don’t want no favors. Just get up off of us and we can be and do whatever we can be. There’ve been protests all over the world. Some have looted and done other things. And none of us in this family condones looting or violence. But the thing I want us to be real cognizant of is there’s a difference between those calling for peace and those calling for quiet. Some of you all don’t want peace, you just want quiet. You just want us to shut up and suffer in silence. The overwhelming majority of the people marching weren’t breaking windows, they were trying to break barriers. They weren’t trying to steal nothing. They were trying to get back the justice you stole from us. Those that broke the law should pay for whatever law they broke. But so should the four policemen that caused this funeral today. We don’t have a problem denouncing violence, Mr. Governor. We don’t have a problem, Mr. Mayor denouncing looting, but it seems like some in the criminal justice system have a problem looking at a tape and knowing there’s probable cause. And it takes a long time for you to go and do what you see that you need to do. But I’m one that has then Crump said, National Action Network and I have been involved in a lot of these fights. We started around criminal justice. I did speeches and eulogies at most of the funerals that we’ve had in this space in the last couple of decades and led the marches and did what we had to do. I look at Martin III, we went to jail together fighting these fights like his daddy went to jail before. But I’m more hopeful today than ever. Why? Well, let me go back. Reverend Jackson always taught me, stay on your text. Go back to my text, Ecclesiastes. There is a time and a season. And when I looked this time and saw marches where in some cases, young whites outnumbered the blacks marching, I know that it’s a different time and a different season.

Al Sharpton: (01:47:13)
When I looked and saw people in Germany marching for George Floyd, it’s a different time and a different season. When they went in front of the Parliament in London, England and said, “It’s a different time and a different season.” I come to tell you America, this is the time of dealing with accountability in the criminal justice system.

Al Sharpton: (01:47:51)
Steven, he has a goal. I went to march. Now I remember a young white lady looked me right in the face and said, “N****r go home.” But when I was here last Thursday and Ms. Gardner and I was headed back to the airport, I stopped near the police station. And as I was talking to a reporter, a young white girl, didn’t look no older than 11 years old, she tagged my suit jacket and I looked around and I braced myself and she looked at me and said, “No justice, no peace.” It’s a different time. It’s a different season.

Al Sharpton: (01:48:43)
And if my Bible carrying guy in front of that boarded up church, if I got him to open up the Bible, I want you to remember something. You know I was late last October to an appointment because the time changed. And I was still, my watch was on the wrong time. Once a year, time goes forward. And if you don’t, Congresswoman Omar, move your watch, you’re going to find yourself an hour late, not because your watch was wrong, but you had your watch on the wrong time.

Al Sharpton: (01:49:19)
Well, I come to tell you that as sitting in Washington talking about militarizing the country, thinking that you can sell wolf tickets to people who’s had enough of abuse. I’ve come to tell you, you can get on the TV, but you on the wrong time, time is out for not holding you accountable. Time is out for you making excuses. Time is out for you trying to stall. Time is out for empty words and empty promises. Time is out for you filibustering and trying to stall the arm of justice. This is the time we won’t stop. We going to keep going until we change the whole system of justice.

Al Sharpton: (01:50:17)
Our organizations have called this a day of mourning. NAACP, National Urban League, Legal Defense Fund, Black Woman’s Round Table, [inaudible 01:50:31] Committee, all got together, said, “We’re going to have a day of mourning, but then we’re going to come out this day mourning.” Because at some of our experts, Cheryl and [inaudible 01:50:44] and others that know the legal field, they have outlined a legal process that we must enforce, everything from residency to dealing with police backgrounds not being hidden. Talked to governor Andrew Cuomo today in New York. He says we got to change 58 where the backgrounds stop for policemen. We need to know if they stop you, they find out everything you ever did. Why don’t we know when policemen have a pattern?

Al Sharpton: (01:51:20)
We got to go back to consent decrees. Under the Obama administration, they had put certain cities with patterns and practice under consent decrees. Reverend Jamal Bryant to know where he was pastoring there in Baltimore, that they put it under consent decree. One of the first thing that happened in the next administration was they stopped the consent decrees. We have specific policies that need to happen. Therefore I’m glad Martin III is here today because on August 28, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, we’re going back to Washington, Martin. That’s where your father stood in the shadows of the Lincoln Memorial and said, “I have a dream.” Well we going back this August 28th to restore and recommit that dream, to stand up because just like at one era, we had to fight slavery, another era we had to fight Jim Crow, another era we dealt with voting rights. This is the era to deal with policing and criminal justice. We need to go back to Washington and stand up black, white, Latino, Arab in the shadows of Lincoln and tell them, “This is the time to stop this.”

Al Sharpton: (01:52:53)
We, Martin and I talked about this. I’ve asked Reverend Bryant to get the faith leaders together and talk. Randy White got about the labor leaders. Oh no, we going to organize in the next couple of months in every region, not only for a march, but for a new process. And it’s going to be led by the Floyd family. And it’s going to be led by the Gardner family. And it’s going to be led by those families that have suffered this and knows the pain and knows what it is to be neglected. And it’s going to be getting us ready to vote, not just for who’s going to be in the White House, but the state house and the city councils that allow these policing measures to go unquestioned. We are going to change the time.

Al Sharpton: (01:53:49)
Let me say this to the family who has shown such great grace and real level and balanced thinking. And that’s why I want them to help lead this. And I want, I think one of the greatest thinkers of our time, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, I’ve asked to come and speak. We need to break down because you all don’t know what time it is. You all are operating like it’s yesterday. And the reason you all late catching up to what these protests means is because you didn’t turn your clock forward. Talking about make America great. Great for who and great when? We going to make America great for everybody for the first time.

Al Sharpton: (01:54:43)
Never was great for blacks. Never was great for Latinos. It wasn’t never great for others. Wasn’t great for women. You all women had to march to get the right to vote. But lastly is the religious side. I was reading and kept thinking about how I was a little embarrassed because when I heard that George, at this point of suffering this brutal attack, called for his mama. I said, to Attorney Crump, I said, “Well, I appreciate talking to his brothers and them on the phone, but I want to talk to his mother.” He said, “His mother passed.” I said, “His mother passed? But he was calling for his mother.” And I thought about it because I was raised by a single mother. And sometimes the only thing between us and our conditions was our mothers. Sometime the only thing that we had that would take danger away was our mothers. The only ones that would make sure that food was on the table was our mother. I know why George was calling for Mama.

Al Sharpton: (01:56:07)
But then as I had gotten that all placed in my mind and I realized why I was always calling and my mother died eight years ago, but I still try to talk to her. Sometime, just dial a cell phone to hear the voicemail on the phone that I never cut off. I still want to reach out to Mama. But talking to Quincy last night, one of his five children, Quincy said, “You know I was thinking maybe he was calling his mother.” Because at the point that he was dying, his mother was stretching her hands out saying, “Come on, George, I’ll welcome you where the wicked will cease from troubling, where the weary will be at rest. There’s a place where police don’t put knees on you, George. There’s a place that prosecutors don’t drag their feet.” Maybe Mama said, “Come on, George. There’s a God that still sits high, but he looks down low and he’ll make a way out of nowhere.”

Al Sharpton: (01:57:18)
This God is still on the throne. The reason we can fight… I don’t care who’s in the White House. There’s another house that said, “If will fight, he’ll fight our battles. If we stand up, he’ll hold us up.” So as we leave here today, I say to this family, I know that years ago we told them, Reverend Jackson told us, keep hope alive. Then I know that President Obama wrote a book about hope. But I want you to know in my life there’s times that I lost hope. Things can happen like this that’ll dash your hope. But there’s something that is sister to hope called faith. Faith is the substance of things. Hope for the evidence of things unseen. Faith is when you got a pile of bills and no money, but you say he will provide all of my needs. Faith is when you got no medicine in the cabinet and you’re sick in your body. But you say he’s a doctor that never lost a patient. And he’ll drive tears from my eyes.

Al Sharpton: (01:58:39)
Faith is when your friends walk out, when your loved ones turn their back, but you say, “I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me now.” We didn’t come this far by luck. We didn’t come this far by some fate. We come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord, trusting in his Holy word. He never, he never, he never failed me yet. From the outhouse to the White House, we come a long way. God will. God shall. God will. God always has. He’ll make a way for his children. Go on home, George. Get your rest, George. You changed the world, George. We going to keep marching, George. We’re going to keep fighting, George. We done turn the cop, George. We going forward, George. Time out. Time out. Time out. We asked gospel great, Hezekiah Walker, to sing a song for the family after which Derrick Johnson of the NAACP asked me, Attorney Crump, we’re going to stand for eight minutes and 46 seconds. That was the time that George was on the ground. And we want you all over the world to stand with us for eight minutes and 46 seconds and make that commitment for justice and the name of George. I want to thank the members of the Congressional Black Caucus for being with us. Won’t you stand? I want to thank the son and heir and coconvener, Dr. Martin Luther King III for being with us.

Al Sharpton: (02:01:16)
I want to thank the mayor and the governor and their brides for being with the family. Senator Amy Klobuchar of the State of Minnesota. I want to thank my mentor and one who’s fought this fight for more than a half a century, reverend Jesse Louis Jackson is with us. And his spokesman for Rainbow Push, Jonathan Luther Jackson. I want to thank from the entertainment world, Kevin Hart. He told me don’t mention he’s here, so don’t clap. Stand up, Kevin. We joke each other. Brother beloved stand up, brother, Brother Ludacris. Tyrese Gibson who’s a extraordinary activist in his own right. Master P. The one and only, the creative genius, Will Packet is with us today. And a brother that we’ve marched together and done a lot of things. He does not just put his name on somebody’s petition. He puts his body on the line. Brother T.I. is in the house.

Al Sharpton: (02:03:12)
I want… This brother’s one of the greatest gospel singers alive. Is Tiffany here? Oh, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I didn’t want to announce and say I’m embarrassed to let me tell you something. One of the most popular, outstanding artists that is also committed. I’ve read her interview. She think I’m old and don’t read the stuff, but I do. And she’s been committed and saying the right things and she wanted to be here today. And I was so busy joking with Kevin, I didn’t even look at her. Let us welcome our sister beloved, Sister Tiffany Haddish is in the house. Well, I’m going to announce all the rest. Wait a minute. You all don’t start introducing folks. I got them all. Let us hear a selection from Brother Hezekiah Walker.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:04:28)
God bless everybody. Let’s have some church for a little while. You all ready to have some church? I came all the way from Brooklyn, New York to do this for George and the family. The song says, every praise is unto our God. Let’s do a couple of… Let’s stand to our feet, everybody. Come on, come on. Put your hands together. Come on, come on, come on, come on. Every praise. Come on.

Choir: (02:05:07)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:08)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:05:08)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:08)
Every word of worship.

Choir: (02:05:08)
Every word of worship.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:08)
With one accord.

Choir: (02:05:08)
With one accord.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:08)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:05:10)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:10)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:05:26)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:26)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:05:30)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:30)
Sing Hallelujah.

Choir: (02:05:30)
Sing Hallelujah to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:30)
Glory Hallelujah.

Choir: (02:05:30)
Glory Hallelujah.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:30)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:05:30)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:30)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:05:30)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:30)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:05:30)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:30)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:05:30)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:34)
Come on, let’s take it up, come on.

Choir: (02:05:36)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:38)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:05:39)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:39)
Put them hands together, come on.

Choir: (02:05:40)
Every word of worship.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:41)
With one accord.

Choir: (02:05:41)
With one accord.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:44)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:05:47)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:47)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:05:48)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:49)
To our god.

Choir: (02:05:50)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:53)
Look at your neighbor and say, “Sing Hallelujah.”

Choir: (02:05:54)
Sing Hallelujah to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:57)
Glory Hallelujah.

Choir: (02:05:57)
Glory Hallelujah.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:05:57)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:06:01)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:03)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:06:04)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:05)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:06:06)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:07)
To our God.

Choir: (02:06:07)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:11)
Come on, my people, let’s take it up one more time. Come on.

Choir: (02:06:14)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:14)
Is to…

Choir: (02:06:15)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:17)
Every word of worship.

Choir: (02:06:17)
Every word of worship.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:18)
With one accord.

Choir: (02:06:18)
With one accord.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:21)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:06:25)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:25)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:06:36)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:47)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:06:48)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
I don’t care how you’re feeling, sing Hallelujah.

Choir: (02:06:48)
Sing Hallelujah.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
To our God.

Choir: (02:06:48)
To our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
Hallelujah.

Choir: (02:06:48)
Glory Hallelujah.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:06:48)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:06:48)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:06:48)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
Is to our God.

Choir: (02:06:48)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:48)
This is my favorite part right here. Come on.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:06:49)
God, my savior. God, my healer. You’re the deliverer. Yes, he is. Yes, he is. You say it now.

Choir: (02:06:50)
You’re my savior.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:12)
God, the savior.

Choir: (02:07:13)
God, our healer.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:13)
God, my healer.

Choir: (02:07:17)
God, my deliverer.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:21)
Yes, he is.

Choir: (02:07:22)
Yes, he is.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:22)
Yes, he is.

Choir: (02:07:22)
Yes, he is.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:22)
God, my savior.

Choir: (02:07:22)
God, my savior.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:22)
God, my healer.

Choir: (02:07:22)
God, my healer.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
[inaudible 02:07:36] deliverer.

Choir: (02:07:36)
God, my deliverer.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Yes, he is.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
To our God.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Is to our God.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Every word of worship.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Every word of worship.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
With one accord.

Choir: (02:07:36)
With one accord.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Every praise.

Choir: (02:07:36)
Every praise.

Hezekiah Walker: (02:07:36)
Every…

Choir: (02:08:00)
(singing).

Al Sharpton: (02:08:00)
[inaudible 00:00: 54]. All right. As we remain standing, I want to recognize Clyde Bellecourt of the American Indian movement. Brother Bellecourt, we are honored that you came. Thank you. Let me say they recognize some of you out of the state chair of the NAACP and many of Black Lives Matter, many of the grassroots organizations that have been doing the protests on the ground in Minneapolis and around the country.

Al Sharpton: (02:09:31)
Movements are about everybody. We don’t exclude anybody. Those young folks, some of them are organic. Some organized on their own, some NAACP, some Urban League, some National Action Network. We need everybody. This is not a competition. This is a movement, and we need to stop our competing and start fighting the real enemy.

Al Sharpton: (02:09:56)
Thank you for doing what y’all are doing. When I got here, they were marching, and they kept marching. They didn’t need nobody to come organize them. They organized, and we going to stay organized. I really thank them for their work. We want to pause for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Because of the pandemic, I’m not going to ask you to take hands, but I want you to stand next to someone with the right distance.

Al Sharpton: (02:10:33)
The amazing thing about this movement, people said they’d never seen marches all over the country. Well, we’ve had that, but we never had it in a pandemic. The reason I know this is a different time is people came out by the hundreds of thousands at risk of their own health to stand up. People that had been sheltered in broke out of shelter. First flight I took was to come here in many weeks.

Al Sharpton: (02:11:04)
Maybe, in God’s own way, Martin, the fact we were sheltered means we couldn’t watch sports, couldn’t watch nothing. We had to keep watching that tape. Maybe because we had no distractions, that finally we’re ready to deal with this. So as we stand, I would like us to stand together, and I think there’s only one woman up here. Tiffany says I was disrespectful. Would you come stand with us up here, Tiffany Haddish, so you won’t be talking about me and your next interview?

Al Sharpton: (02:11:44)
I would like the mother of Eric Garner, who’s mother of the one who originally died in police custody saying, “I can’t breathe” to stand with me and Ben Crump onstage, Miss Gwen Carr.

Al Sharpton: (02:12:05)
Let us stand. Somebody said, “Reverend eight minutes is a long time.” That meant it was long enough for the police to understand what they were doing. That meant it was long enough for one of them three cops to stop what was going on. That means it was long enough for whatever this officer had in mind, for him to rethink. As you go through these long eight minutes, think about what George was going through, laying there for those eight minutes, begging for his life, heard someone say narrating his own death. We can’t let this go. We can’t keep living like this.

Al Sharpton: (02:12:50)
Sam Jackson, is Sam still here? Steve Jackson, Steve Jackson, is he here? Steve? We want to recognize … I was recognizing everybody. We’ve got to stop this here, and we’ve got to, in this time, bring about a new season. Let us stand still. You that believe in faith, bow your heads, or whichever way you worship.

Al Sharpton: (02:13:16)
(silence)

Al Sharpton: (02:22:11)
That’s a long time. If we’ve calculated with the clock here, that’s how long he was laying there. There’s no excuse. He had enough time. They had enough time. Now what will we do with the time we have? As we usher the family out, please let us take them out first. They have to prepare to go to North Carolina and then back to Houston, where we will do the final services. They appreciate you all for coming. Let everybody else be seated but the family. Reverend Brian, will you come quickly, give us a benediction? Just a benediction, and we’re going to take the family out. Everyone else, remain in your seats.

Choir: (02:23:14)
(singing)

Reverend Brian: (02:23:14)
If you’ll remain where you are for the benediction. Good and gracious God, merciful master, walk with us while we run this race. Speak to us as we lift our voice. Use our hand so that they do not become fists. Change our hearts so that our rage will shift to rehabilitation. Convict the country so it can finally be the land of the free and the home of the brave. We pray this prayer in the name of an innocent black man by the name of Jesus who was killed by a government and still rose again, and with that power, we march on until victory is won.

Choir: (02:24:07)
(singing).

Speaker 9: (02:24:07)
Let’s usher the family. Excuse me. We need everyone to be seated except the family. Please, everyone, please be seated except the family. Please, everyone, please remain in your seat as we escort this family out. Thank you so much. Please, please, we need everyone to remain seated.