HOUSTON – With a steady stream of lines at Kingdom Builder’s Center and FountainLife Center in Houston continue, mourners spent hours from noon to 6 p.m. waiting to get on shuttles to take them to the church where they could get a chance to pay their respects to George Floyd.
Record heat didn’t deter the throngs of people who sought pay respects to a man whose tragedy inspired a worldwide movement against racial injustice and police brutality.
The line is starting to grow at FountainLife Center in #Houston this morning. People are here early waiting to take the shuttle to pay their respects at Memorial service for George Floyd. #GeorgeFloyd @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/ouSn4bDwBA— Brittany Jeffers (@KPRC2BrittanyJ) June 8, 2020
The first shuttles left FountainLife Center for the church around 11:45 a.m. Monday and the last shuttles left at 5:45 p.m.
Lines were wrapped around the Fountain of Praise all day as thousands of mourners turned out to pay their respects and honor Floyd. As of noon, there was plenty of parking available at the Kingdom Builder’s and FountainLife centers.
There’s a steady stream of people boarding the buses at the Kingdom Builder’s Center at 6011 West Orem for the #GeorgeFloyd viewing. It starts at noon. Plenty of parking available. @KPRC2 #kprc2 pic.twitter.com/q5WCFY5G6z— KPRC Cathy Hernandez (@KPRC2Cathy) June 8, 2020
Floyd graduated from Jack Yates High School in 1992, where he helped the football team win the state title. He also played basketball there, La'Torria Lemon, spokeswoman for the funeral home, told CNN on Sunday.
Organizers prepared for close to 10,000 people Monday and many were left without a shuttle to catch by the end of the evening.
“Most of all I wanted to be here because it’s time, way past due for us to have justice,” said Kathy Williams.
“We need a general love for our mankind instead of hate. It’s time for all of this negative stuff to stop,” said Wayne Wise.
“Floyd was a gentle giant, always an easy-going guy. Hello, goodbye. Real mannerable,” said Marcus Riggs, who also grew up in Third Ward.
“We want to support the family because of what they’re going through. It’s just a horrific tragedy and I can’t imagine what it must be like,” said Candace Jackson.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden traveled to Houston on Monday to meet privately with Floyd’s family and offer his condolences, according to a Biden aide.
The former Vice President taped video message for Floyd’s private funeral service Tuesday, the aide said. But Biden is not planning to attend Tuesday’s service. His team does not want to cause any disruptions from Biden’s Secret Service protection, according to people familiar with those deliberations.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and actor Jamie Foxx are among those expected Tuesday, Lemon said, adding that an outline of the service will be available Monday evening.