MINNEAPOLIS — Although proceedings are closed to the public, KARE 11 will carry the George Floyd memorial service live on air, on KARE11.com, Facebook and YouTube, with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT.
Family, friends, strangers around the world will have four different opportunities to celebrate the life of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin down Floyd's neck on Memorial Day. Video of the incident went viral on social media, setting off more than a week of protests across the country.
North Central University will be the epicenter for the very first memorial for George Floyd on Thursday. The service will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., and Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy. National news leaders like Lester Holt plan to broadcast from the top of the parking garage, just across the street from the NCU sanctuary entryway.
“It’s obvious an incredibly moment for the country,” said NCU president Dr. Scott Hagan, “It’s very significant, we are in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, we were simply asked if we would be open to hosting it and of course our hearts were right there.”
Dr. Hagan is also part of the Minneapolis clergy, but travels across the country to preach. Hosting the funeral has renewed hope for Dr. Hagan, who says he didn't hesitate to say 'yes' when NCU was asked to host the service.
President Hagan still gets emotional just talking about what happened to Floyd at the hands of police officers. He is sure the deadly incident has had an impact on people in his own circle that may not otherwise get involved emotionally or otherwise.
“I think it has struck a nerve in a place I know as a white pastor and now president, it has struck a nerve among my colleagues and people like I have never seen before,” said Dr. Hagan. “I think there is a chance for transformative moments personally and for the nation."
Although the service is private, the funeral will broadcast worldwide, with a backdrop of George Floyd's face, the names of others killed by police and a caption for George himself that reads, “I can breathe now." It’s a response to the repeated pleas from Floyd telling officers he could not breathe while being held down by his neck.
The second public viewing memorial is 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 6 in North Carolina. There will be two more services June 8 and 9 in Houston, Texas. The services will be live streamed and covered by national news organizations, including NBC. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plans to attend Tuesday's memorial service in Texas, according to Floyd family attorney Ben Crump.