WATCH: Rev. Al Sharpton Eulogizes George Floyd – ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Neck!’
The baptist minister and talk show host underscored that the death of Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, should not have happened.
“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,” Sharpton said. “He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction. He died because of there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught this country that if you commit a crime, it does not matter whether you wear blue jeans or a blue uniform, you must pay for the crime you commit.”
Sharpton went on to criticize President Donald Trump‘s photo-op with the bible in front of the Washington D.C. church amidst peaceful protests. Reporters said they watched demonstrators be teargassed in order to clear the path for Trump to take that picture.
“First of all, we cannot use Bibles as a prop and for those that have agendas that are not about justice, this family will not let you use George as a prop. If you want to get your stuff off, don’t use him,” Sharpton said.
The reverend noted that Floyd’s death was a culmination of “401 years” of oppression.
“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to being is you kept your knee on our neck,” he said. “We were smarter then the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our neck. We could run corporations and not hustle in the street, 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.
He added, “What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services, and in every area of American life, it’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks.”
Sharpton urged the family to keep faith, saying God has and will to continue to bring about change.
“We didn’t come this far by luck. We didn’t come this far by some fate. We come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord, trusting in his Holy word,” Sharpton said. “He never, he never, he never failed me yet. From the outhouse to the White House, we come a long way … Go on home, George. Get your rest, George. You changed the world, George. We going to keep marching, George. We going to keep fighting, George. We done turned the clock, George. We going forward, George.”