George Floyd mourners to view casket in public memorial before Houston funeral

Mourners will be able to view George Floyd‘s casket in his hometown of Houston, the final stop of a series of memorials in his honour.

A six-hour viewing will be held on Monday (local time) at The Fountain of Praise church in southwest Houston.

The viewing is open to the public, though visitors will be required to wear a mask and gloves to comply with coronavirus-related guidelines – 15 guests at a time will be allowed inside for no more than 10 minutes each after viewing the body.

Artists Alex Roman and his mother Sylvia Roman pose in front of their mural honouring George Floyd in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP) (AP/AAP)

“We’re anticipating close to 10,000 and that’s what we’re preparing for,” La’Torria Lemon, spokeswoman for the funeral home told CNN.

On Saturday, hundreds of people lined up for a public viewing of Floyd’s casket in Raeford, North Carolina, about 32km from where he was born.

Floyd’s funeral will then be held on Tuesday, followed by burial at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in suburban Pearland, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother, Larcenia Floyd.

Floyd’s body is already in Houston, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Bryan Smart plants American flags along Hillcroft Ave. as he walks toward The Fountain of Praise church in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip (AP/AAP)

“#GeorgeFloyd and his family are safely in Houston,” he tweeted on Sunday.

“It was “a big deal for our city to bring him back home,” Acevedo said.

“He’s well known, he’s known by a lot of our officers. We want to make sure that the family is safe, that the movement is safe. We want to make sure that the family knows that we’re here for them and we support them at this time.”

George Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped responding.

A public memorial and private funeral service for George Floyd will be held at the church. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip (AP/AAP)

Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to travel to Houston to meet with Floyd’s family and will provide a video message for Floyd’s funeral service.

A Biden aide on Sunday described the plans of the Democratic presidential candidate. They did not include attending the service.

Biden expects to give the family his condolences, said the aide, who discussed Biden’s plans on condition of anonymity.

People join George Floyd’s family in a march from Discovery Green to City Hall in downtown Houston. ( Marie D. De Jesús / Houston Chronicle ) (AP/AAP)

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and actor Jamie Foxx are also among those expected to attend, Lemon said, adding that an outline of the service will be available Monday evening.

Previous memorials have taken place in Minneapolis and Raeford, North Carolina, near where Floyd was born.

At the Minneapolis tribute on Thursday, those in attendance stood in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the length of time prosecutors say Floyd was pinned to the ground under the officer’s knee before he died.

George Floyd’s death has inspired international protests and drawn new attention to the treatment of African Americans by police and the criminal justice system. (AP/AAP)

Floyd was raised in Houston’s Third Ward and was a well-known former high school football player who rapped with local legend DJ Screw.

He moved to Minneapolis several years ago to seek work and a fresh start. His face now appears on a mural in his old neighborhood, and his name was chanted by tens of thousands last week at a protest and march in downtown Houston.

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