On the same day that Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged in the death of George Floyd, made his first appearance in court, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met with George Floyd’s family in Houston as they made final preparations to lay Floyd to rest.
According to NBC News, Biden met with Floyd’s family on Monday before a public viewing was held in Houston. Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, tweeted that Biden spent an hour with the family listening to their concerns. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who gave a powerful eulogy at the first of several memorials for Floyd in Minneapolis on Thursday, tweeted out a photo of Biden meeting with the Floyd family.
Hundreds arrived at Fountain of Praise church for the public viewing, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Floyd spent most of his life in Houston and was remembered as a beloved member of the community.
“He was a good guy, always looking out for the younger generation. We had to come out and represent for the neighborhood,” Kevin Block, who graduated from the same high school as Floyd, told NBC News. On Tuesday, a 500-person memorial will be held after which Floyd will be laid to rest. A memorial was held for Floyd in Minneapolis last Thursday and over the weekend a private service was held for his family in North Carolina.
As hundreds gathered in Houston to pay respects to Floyd, in Minneapolis, Chauvin was granted unconditional bail set at $1.25 million, according to NBC News. A lower amount of $1 million was set with the conditions that Chauvin forfeits his guns and firearm permits, makes no attempt at contacting the Floyd family and doesn’t work as a security guard or officer while out on bail. Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, requested a hearing for June 29. Chauvin did not enter a plea.
In late May, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder but last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who was appointed by Gov. Tim Walz to prosecute the case, upgraded Chauvin’s charges to second-degree felony murder and manslaughter. Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, the now-former officers seen in the video of Floyd’s death, were arrested and charged with aiding abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
On May 25, Floyd was shopping at a Cup Foods deli in Minneapolis where he allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill. The cops were called and during the course of the arrest, Floyd was handcuffed and put on the ground. Two of the officers placed their knees on Floyd’s back while Chauvin was seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds.