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George Floyd Public Viewing in North Carolina Attended By Hundreds As Nation Continues to Mourn His Death

ETOnline logo ETOnline 6/6/2020 Liz Calvario‍
a man and a woman dressed in a suit and tie © ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to George Floyd during a public viewing at Cape Fear Conference B Church in Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born, on Saturday.

The public viewing was held from 11 a.m. ET to 1 p.m. ET. Floyd, a 46-year-old Minneapolis man, died on Memorial Day after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over eight minutes when he was arrested for suspicion of forgery outside a deli.

As people lined up to honor Floyd, his body was escorted into the church in a gold casket. His casket was also seen closed and with many beautiful red roses piled on top. A crowd of peaceful protesters also lined the road outside, mourning his death.

Floyd's family also held a private viewing at 3 p.m. ET that was broadcast for many to watch. During the emotional memorial, one of Floyd's uncles, Isaac Floyd, sang "I Won't Complain."

As public officials honored Floyd, others called for change. Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said, "Enough. Don't let the life of George Floyd be in vain. It has become a sacrifice." As he addressed law enforcement officers, Peterkin said they needed to know that, "We are part of the problem."

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie: ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images © ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Per CBS News, a representative for North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office, Jeremy Collins, presented a flag to Floyd's family, who were dressed in white.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) © ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of the private viewing, Cynthia Lacewell, a black woman and mother of two, told The Fayetteville Observer that she wanted to show support to the family.

“I have two sons and a daughter, and we’re just here to support, because that very well could have been one of my kids,” Lacewell said.

a vase of flowers on a table: D CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images © D CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images D CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table: ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images © ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images ED CLEMENTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Following his tragic death, protests have been happening nationwide as well as in numerous countries around the world to stop police brutality and systemic racism.

Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder. In addition, the three other Minneapolis police officers -- Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao -- who were also fired for their involvement in Floyd's death have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.

A memorial was held on Thursday at North Central University in Minneapolis, with celebrities like Kevin Hart, Ludacris, T.I., Tyrese Gibson, Tiffany Haddish, Master P and film producer Will Packer in attendance. Reverend Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King III and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar also paid their respects.

During the memorial, Rev. Al Sharpton asked the crowd, as well as everyone watching at home, to stand in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds in honor of Floyd.

"As you go through these long eight minutes, think about what George was going through," Sharpton said. "We can't let this go. We can't keep living like this."

Many others have been banding together to donate, march and raise awareness for Black Lives Matter. Kanye West started a college fund for Floyd's 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, as well as donated to Floyd's family and the families of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

Dwayne Johnson called out America's lack of leadership amid the protests. While celebrity parents like Kristen Bell and Ashton Kutcher vowed to break the cycle of racism, having conversations with their children about what's happening all across the country.

For more information on how to help, as well as support the Black Lives Matter movement, see below.

Help the family of George Floyd HERE.

Fight for Breonna Taylor HERE.

Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery HERE.

Want to help protesters? Donate to one or more community bail funds HERE.

Visit Movement for Black Lives for additional ways you can help the cause.

Want to connect with leaders building grassroots campaigns? Click HERE.

Are you an ally and want to learn more? Here are some anti-racism resources.

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