By Emily Drooby
On June 4, a crowd of New Yorkers screamed, “I can’t breathe” — George Floyd’s last words.
Thousands filled Cadman Plaza Park in downtown Brooklyn for a memorial which remembered Floyd, who died in Minneapolis last week. Four police officers are facing charges in connection with his killing.
George Floyd’s brother, Terrence, joined Mayor Bill de Blasio, NY Attorney General Letitia James, and many others at the memorial. Terrence was briefly silenced by his emotion as he addressed the crowd.
“But I want to thank God, because at the end of the day my brother’s gone, but the Floyd name still lives on.”
Terrence praised protesters but condemned those who have contributed to the widespread destruction.
“I’m proud of the protests but I’m not proud of the destruction, my brother wasn’t about that. The Floyds are a God-fearing family.”
People from all over New York City gathered to honor Floyd’s memory, including Anthony Williamson, who was leading chants.
“It’s all about justice, we all should be treated fairly, we should never be judged by the color of our skin,” said Anthony.
Some of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn were also there to show their support.
“We’re with them, they’re in our classrooms, they’re in our centers, so the Church needs to be here, we need to be here,” said Brother Damien Novello.
They were filled with inspiration by the words of Pope Francis, who recently condemned racism and prayed for Floyd.
“When we say we are pro-life this is one of those areas that we have to be about,” explained Brother Joseph Bach. “We often forget that so I am very grateful because that is a prolific voice, and it’s one that we needed to hear.”
The memorial ended with a march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Other memorials and memorial services are scheduled this week in states across the country.