George Floyd memorial: Public viewing to be held in Houston, Texas

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Thousands are set to gather in Houston, Texas, to remember George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death in police custody sparked global protests.

Mr Floyd lived in the city before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he died on 25 May.

A six-hour public viewing of his body will be held at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston.

In Minnesota, a white police officer accused of killing Mr Floyd will appear before a judge for the first time.

Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, has been dismissed and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers who were at the scene have been sacked and charged with aiding and abetting.

On Tuesday, a private funeral service will be held for Mr Floyd in Houston.

Memorial services have already been held in Minneapolis and North Carolina, where Mr Floyd was born.

It is believed a family member escorted Mr Floyd’s body on a flight to Texas late on Saturday.

Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden is expected to visit Mr Floyd’s relatives in Houston to offer his sympathies. Aides to the former vice-president said he would also record a video message for Tuesday’s service.

The public farewell will follow social distancing requirements, with only 15 guests allowed in the church at a time, local media report.

Those in attendance will be required to wear gloves and masks before entering.

Anti-racism protests started by Mr Floyd’s death are now entering their third week in the US. Huge rallies have been held in several cities, including Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

With the rallying cries “Black Lives matter” and “No Justice, No Peace”, the demonstrations are among the largest US protests against racism since the 1960s. Saturday’s gatherings included a protest in the Texas town of Vidor, once infamous as a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group.

Episodes of looting and violence have, however, been reported among the peaceful rallies, and President Donald Trump threatened to call up troops to quash the protests .

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Security measures were lifted across the US on Sunday as unrest started to ease. New York ended its nearly week-long curfew, and Mr Trump said he was ordering the National Guard to start withdrawing from Washington DC.

On Sunday, nine of 13 Minneapolis City Council members pledged in front of hundreds of protesters to dismantle the local police department and instead create “a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe”.

It is not yet clear what form the changes will take, or how soon they can happen.

Democrats in Congress are expected to present sweeping legislation on police reform on Monday.

More on George Floyd’s death

Protesters in European cities including London and Rome also gathered to show their support for Black Lives Matter over the weekend, while anti-racism protests in Australia were attended by tens of thousands.

In the city of Bristol in the UK, protesters tore down a statue of Edward Colston , a prominent 17th Century slave trader.

US protests timeline

25 May 2020

Tributes to George Floyd at a makeshift memorial

George Floyd dies after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Footage shows a white officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he is pinned to the floor. Mr Floyd is heard repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”. He is pronounced dead later in hospital.

26 May

Demonstrators in Minneapolis

Four officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd are fired. Protests begin as the video of the arrest is shared widely on social media. Hundreds of demonstrators take to the streets of Minneapolis and vandalise police cars and the police station with graffiti.

27 May

Protesters lie on the streets in Portland, Oregon

Protests spread to other cities including Memphis and Los Angeles. In some places, like Portland, Oregon, protesters lie in the road, chanting “I can’t breathe”. Demonstrators again gather around the police station in Minneapolis where the officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest were based and set fire to it. The building is evacuated and police retreat.

28 May

President Trump tweets about the unrest

President Trump blames the violence on a lack of leadership in Minneapolis and threatens to send in the National Guard in a tweet.  He follows it up in a second tweet with a warning “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. The second tweet is hidden by Twitter for “glorifying violence”.

29 May

Members of a CNN crew are arrested at a protest

A CNN reporter, Omar Jimenez, is arrested while covering the Minneapolis protest. Mr Jimenez was reporting live when police officers handcuffed him. A few minutes later several of his colleagues are also arrested. They are all later released once they are confirmed to be members of the media.

Derek Chauvin charged with murder

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after being charged over the death of George Floyd

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, is charged with murder and manslaughter. The charges carry a combined maximum 35-year sentence.

31 May

Demonstrators set fire to rubbish in New York

Violence spreads across the US on the sixth night of protests. A total of at least five people are reported killed in protests from Indianapolis to Chicago. More than 75 cities have seen protests. At least 4,400 people have been arrested.  Curfews are imposed across the US to try to stem the unrest.

1 June

Trump posing with a Bible outside a boarded-up church

President Trump threatens to send in the military to quell growing civil unrest. He says if cities and states fail to control the protests and “defend their residents” he will deploy the army and “quickly solve the problem for them”. Mr Trump poses in front of a damaged church shortly after police used tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters nearby.

2 June

George Floyd’s family joined protesters in Houston

Tens of thousands of protesters again take to the streets. One of the biggest protests is in George Floyd’s hometown of Houston, Texas. Many defy curfews in several cities, but the demonstrations are largely peaceful.

4 June

Mourners gather to remember George Floyd

A memorial service for George Floyd is held in Minneapolis.  Those gathered in tribute stand in silence for eight minutes, 46 seconds, the amount of time Mr Floyd is alleged to have been on the ground under arrest. Hundreds attended the service, which heard a eulogy from civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton.

7 June

Protester addresses crowds in Australia

As the US saw another weekend of protests, with tens of thousands marching in Washington DC, anti-racism demonstrations were held around the world.

In Australia, there were major protests in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane that focused on the treatment of indigenous Australians. There were also demonstrations in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. In Bristol, protesters tore down the statue of a 17th century slave trader and threw it into the harbour.

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