Hundreds turn out, kneel to memorialize George Floyd at City Hall

Hundreds of people gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday to memorialize George Floyd on the day of his funeral.

Hundreds of people gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday to memorialize George Floyd on the day of his funeral.

The event, which organizer Phelicia Jones described as transporting those gathered to a black church, featured stirring sermons from local Baptist pastors.

“We’re here to remember,” said Rev. Joseph Bryant Jr. before he lead the crowd in taking a knee. “We don’t want George Floyd’s life to be in vain.”

Rev. Thomas Fisher of Second Bapist Church in Redwood City delivered a eulogy for Floyd, who was killed on May 25 when a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. “His shadow is gone,” Fisher said. “Rest in peace, rest in power, George Floyd.

Fisher said that death brings “a pain unextinguishable” and problems that are not always immediately solveable, but that the people of San Francisco have always fought “to express peace, embrace diversity and enact equality.”

“Do good with the days you have,” Fisher said to the crowd. “Kneel in protest, live today.”

After the crowd kneeled for eight minutes and 46 seconds to memorialize Floyd, Mayor London Breed addressed the crowd.

“Imagine if someone had their knee on your neck for that long,” Breed said. “I appreciate this advocacy at this moment more than you can ever imagine. We need this energy to make real change.”

Breed said there is a lot of work to be done to make changes in San Francisco law enforcement to protect black lives. She said that The City had enacted 61 out of 273 U.S. Department of Justice police reform recommendations.

“Let me be clear: That’s not good enough,” she said. “We are going to do better. But I want to be clear. It’s not just about checking off a box. It’s about getting it. It’s about understanding it. It’s about making sure when we push for police reform, that they get it. And if they don’t get it, they shouldn’t be working for this police department.”

Breed called on people of all races to lend support to the cause.

“Be an ally,” she said. “This is about life or death. Let’s get the job done.”

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