For five hours the mourners — ranging from average citizens to top government leaders and celebrities — filed into the Fountain of Praise Church and past Floyd’s casket, more than two weeks after Floyd died while being pinned down by Minneapolis police.
His death has sparked worldwide protests and calls for racial justice.
“George Floyd is going to change the arc of the United States,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, according to CNN. “George Floyd has not died in vain. His life will be a living legacy about the way America and Texas respond to this tragedy.”
Among the attendees were Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, actor Kevin Hart, rappers Ludacris and Master P, and civil rights leaders, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the outlet said.
Floyd, 46, grew up in Houston’s Third Ward.
“He was the first person who everybody looked up to in our neighborhood because he was the first one to get a scholarship to go and play basketball or football when he wanted to,” said his brother, Philonise Floyd, according to CNN.
Residents waited outside for hours to pay their last respects, with coronavirus social-distancing restrictions limiting access to 15 at a time.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, met with the Floyd family earlier in the day.
The memorial came on the same day that Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis cop charged with murder in Floyd’s case, made his first court appearance since being charged. He was ordered held on $1 million bail without release restrictions, and $1.25 million with no restrictions.