The family of George Floyd stood in front of thousands at North Central University for a memorial service Thursday, as calls from the podium to change the justice system were echoed by protesters across the nation, the Wall Street Journal reports. “The reason why we’re marching all over the world is because we were like George, we couldn’t breathe,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy. “It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks.” Sharpton asked mourners to stand in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time Floyd lay pinned to the pavement.
Protesters have demanded that authorities cut funding for police and put it toward minority communities. They got backing from San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who said she would help lead an effort to redirect money from that city’s police department toward the African-American community. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a similar initiative Wednesday. In New York City, thousands gathered for a memorial for Floyd in in Brooklyn and then marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. Protesters carried signs that said “Black lives matter” and chanted, “No justice, no peace.” Mayor Bill de Blasio received scattered boos, as he promised change. “It will not be about words in this city. It will be about change,” he said. By night, after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew, a crowd of about 200 people were discussing heading to Trump Tower in Midtown but ran into hundreds of police in helmets with batons.