Rev. Al Sharpton says America has never been "great for blacks"
During a memorial service today in Minneapolis for George Floyd, Rev. Al Sharpton challenged the idea of what makes America great and how the country has never been "great for blacks" and "never was great for Latinos."
"Talk about America great. Great for who? We'll make America great for everybody the first time. Never was great for blacks. Never was great for Latinos. It wasn't never great for others. Wasn't great for women. Women had to March to get the right to vote," Sharpton said.
4:23 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
Sharpton to America: "This is the time of building with accountability in the criminal justice system"
Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking during George Floyd's memorial service, said he was more "hopeful today than ever" that change would come to America.
Referencing to the Bible text in Ecclesiastes, he said there is a time and a season, and that the recent marches have shown him this is a different time and season to bring change.
"There is a time and a season. And when I look this time, and saw marches where in some cases young whites outnumbered the blacks marching, I know that it is a different time and a different season. When I looked and saw people in Germany marching for George Floyd, it's a different time and a different season. When they went in front of the parliament in London, England, and said that it was a different time and a different season. I come to tell you America, this is the time of building with accountability in the criminal justice system," Sharpton said.
3:51 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
Sharpton: We have been marginalized because America kept its "knee on our neck"
Rev. Al Sharpton delivered an incisive rebuke of racism and how for more than 400 years, black people have been marginalized because America "kept your knee on our neck."
The imagery Sharpton used resonated at the memorial for George Floyd today in Minneapolis. Floyd was killed after a former police officer was seen kneeling on his neck on May 25.
"The reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck," Sharpton said.
Sharpton added: "We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in but you had your knee on our neck. We could run corporations and not hustle in the streets, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody else could do, but we couldn't get your knee off our neck. What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services, and in every area of American life. It is time for us to stand up in George's name and say get your knee of our necks," Sharpton said to applause.
3:34 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence offers "sympathies and prayers" to Floyd family
Vice President Mike Pence offered "sympathies and prayers" to the family and friends of George Floyd as a memorial for Floyd was underway in Minneapolis.
Pence called Floyd's death "a tragedy" and reiterated President Trump's vow that "justice will be served."
Read his tweet:
3:37 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
George Floyd "died of a common American criminal justice malfunction," Rev. Al Sharpton says
Rev. Al Sharpton said today's memorial service for George Floyd is "not a normal funeral" — but these services are a far too common occurrence.
"I want us to not sit here and act like we had a funeral on the schedule. George Floyd should not be among the deceased. He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction," Sharpton said at the Minneapolis service.
He continued: "So it is not a normal funeral. It is not a normal circumstance. But it is too common. And we need to deal with it."
3:32 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
"We don't want two justice systems in America," Floyd family lawyer says
The attorney for George Floyd's family does not want one justice system "for black and one for white" people as he seeks justice on behalf of Floyd, who was killed May 25 in Minneapolis.
"We don’t want two justice systems in America. One for black and one for white. What we endeavor to achieve is equal gestures for the United States of America and George Floyd is the moment to give us the best opportunity I’ve seen in a long time of reaching that high idea that this country was founded on," Benjamin Crump said at the memorial for Floyd in Minneapolis today.
3:15 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
Terrence Floyd: "I'm proud of the protests, but I'm not proud of the destruction"
From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield
Speaking at the Brooklyn Memorial for his brother George, Terrence Floyd reiterated his call for peaceful protests.
"I'm just going to say this — I'm proud of the protests, but I'm not proud of the destruction," Floyd said.
"I'm going to say that again — I'm proud of the protests, but I'm not proud of the destruction. My brother wasn't about that."
Floyd's remarks were very brief. At the beginning of his remarks he paused, appearing choked up. The crowd chanted as he pulled himself together to speak.
CNN producer Bonney Kapp estimates there are thousands of people at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn.
3:24 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
George Floyd's younger brother says he learned from him "how to be a man"
Rodney Floyd, younger brother of George Floyd, said his brother taught him "how to be a man because he was in the world already before us."
He said George Floyd "was doing the best that he can and the mistakes that he made and watching him, correcting myself as a teenager growing up. And learning from him how to be a man."
He said his brother "would stand up for any injustice anywhere."
3:19 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
Floyd's cousin says growing up, "we didn't have a whole lot, but we always had each other"
George Floyd's cousin Shareeduh Tate spoke about life growing up together and how, while their families didn't have much, "we always had each other."
Tate spoke about how their mothers were from a large family of 13 that always welcomed others into their homes.
"We didn't have a whole lot, but we always had each other. And we were taught that we could always bring people into the fold. No one should ever go home without having a meal or having food," Tate said during the memorial for Floyd in Minneapolis today. "My aunt was someone in the community ... she ended up having, you know, 30 or 40 kids that would come over there because they always knew that they could get something to eat if they came there. And not only food, but they could be loved and feel part of the fold."