WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- In his speech at George Floyd’s memorial service, Reverend Al Sharpton rebuked the photo-op of President Donald Trump while holding a bible at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
- Sharpton said: “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.”
- Benjamin Crump, George Floyd’s family lawyer, also addressed the crowd, calling for justice.
Longtime activist and political commentator Reverend Al Sharpton addressed President Donald Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church last Monday evening. Trump’s recent action gained criticisms from different sectors of the state.
Sharpton gave a speech on Thursday at a memorial service for George Floyd.
“I saw somebody standing in front of a church the other day that had been boarded up as a result of violence, held the Bible in his hand,” Sharpton said.
“I’ve been preaching since I was a little boy, I’ve never seen anyone hold a Bible like that … but since he held a Bible, if he’s watching us today, I would like him to open that Bible.”
Sharpton then urged Trump to turn to Ecclesiates 3:1, that says, “To everything, there is a time, a purpose, and a season under the heavens.”
Quoting the bible verse, Sharpton said that “To every season there’s a time and a purpose.”
“And I think that it is our job to let the world know that when we see what is going on in the streets of this country and in Europe and around the world that you need to know what time it is.”
“We cannot use Bibles as a prop,” he emphasized. “And for those that have agendas, that are not about justice, this family will not let you use George as a prop.”
Talking to the funeral attendees, Sharpton said that he does not want them to just sit around and have a normal funeral. “It is not a normal funeral. It is not a normal circumstance. But it is too common and we need to deal with it.”
“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 explained.
Benjamin Crump, George Floyd’s family lawyer, also spoke to the crowd inside North Central University’s sanctuary.
“It was not the coronavirus pandemic that killed George Floyd,” Crump said. “It was that other pandemic of racism and discrimination that killed George Floyd.”
“What we saw was torture. What we saw on that video was inhumane. What we saw on that video was evil,” Crump said.
Crump then cited one famous quote from Martin Luther King. Jr., “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
The memorial service ended with a nine-minute moment of silence.
Sharpton announced that he is organizing a march on Washington on Aug. 28, the anniversary of King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, to call for a federal policing equality act.
On Saturday, another memorial service for Floyd will be held in Raeford, N.C., his birthplace, and another on Monday in Houston, where he lived before moving to Minneapolis.