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Houston expects thousands of mourners at George Floyd visitation Monday

Floyd, a Houston native, grew up in the city's Third Ward and graduated from Jack Yates High School where he played football.
Floyd, a Houston native, grew up in the city's Third Ward and graduated from Jack Yates High School where he played football. (Courtesy Ben Crump Law Firm)

HOUSTON – Houston officials are expecting thousands of mourners during Monday's visitation for George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis police custody has sparked protests around the United States and across the world.

Floyd, 46, grew up in the city's Third Ward and will be buried in Houston next to his mother, according to the Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center.

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.

The public is invited to attend the visitation from noon to 6 p.m., Lemon said.

"We're anticipating close to 10,000 and that's what we're preparing for," she said.

Before moving to Minneapolis, Floyd was well known in the Houston music scene, rapping with a group called Screwed Up Clik (SUC).

Floyd died last month after after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck.

Chauvin has been fired and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

On Saturday, hundreds of people lined up for a public viewing of Floyd's casket in Raeford, North Carolina, about 20 miles from where he was born.

Meanwhile, demonstrations against systemic racism and police violence continued over the weekend, with large crowds in Washington, DC, Philadelphia and other cities and towns.

Floyd's body is already in Houston, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

"#GeorgeFloyd and his family are safely in Houston," he tweeted Sunday.

It was "a big deal for our city to bring him back home," Acevedo said. "He's well known, he's known by a lot of our officers. We want to make sure that the family is safe, that the movement is safe. We want to make sure that the family knows that we're here for them and we support them at this time."

Politicians, entertainers are expected

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will travel to Houston on Monday to meet privately with Floyd's family and offer his condolences, according to a Biden aide.

The former Vice President will tape a 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.

Tuesday's funeral will be available via streaming on The Fountain of Praise Church website, Lemon said.

High temperatures and social distancing

Temperatures in Houston on Monday are expected to reach the high 90s.

To comply with social distancing rules, 15 guests at a time will be allowed inside of The Fountain of Praise.

Guests will be allowed to stay inside no more than 10 minutes after viewing the body. Guests must wear a mask and gloves, and casual attire is permitted.