AceShowbiz - Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and Tyrese Gibson led celebrity mourners at the first of three planned memorial services for slain police brutality victim George Floyd on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
The stars were joined by rappers Master P, Ludacris, and T.I., "Black-ish" star Marsai Martin, producer Will Packer, Minnesota Vikings American football players Kyle Rudolph and Alexander Mattison, and former basketball star Stephen Jackson, a close friend of Floyd's, as well as Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, state senator Amy Klobuchar, and civil rights leaders Revd. Jesse Jackson and Revd. Al Sharpton, who delivered an impassioned eulogy and introduced some of the celebrities in attendance.
Floyd was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020 when police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, rendering him unconscious after he repeatedly told the cops he was struggling to breathe. The memorial service included eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence - the time it took Floyd to die from asphyxiation.
Chauvin was initially charged with third degree murder and second degree manslaughter, but on the eve of the service, the charge was upgraded to second degree murder, while the three officers who stood by and watched their colleague kill Floyd are now all in custody charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder while committing a felony, and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.
The three appeared in court on Thursday, when bail was set at $1 million for each of them.
Memorial attendee Hart was among the most vocal celebrities pushing for the arrests of all four cops - he condemned their actions on Twitter and insisted their dismissal from the force was not enough.
"You can't ask for peace if your not willing to give JUSTICE... people want JUSTICE (sic)," Hart wrote. "It's that simple...Throw all of those cops in jail NOOOOOWWW. That's taking action... Point blank!!!! This is what we want to see... JUSTICE."
Floyd's death sparked 10 days of unrest in the U.S. and other cities around the world as activists took to the streets to demand justice and an end to police brutality.