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Mourners vowing to be good Samaritans in the fight for racial justice packed a Houston church on Tuesday and paid tribute to George Floyd, whose death touched off worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.
“This will be a home-going celebration of brother George Floyd," Fountain of Praise pastor Mia K. Wright told mourners. "We may weep, we may mourn, but we will find hope."
Tuesday's service came one day after top Democrats in the House and the Senate unveiled far-reaching legislation to overhaul policing in the United States as protests over excessive force by law enforcement against African Americans and others have gripped the nation.
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Rep. Al Green calls for creation of federal office to address historic mistreatment of African Americans
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, on Tuesday called for the creation of a federal Department of Reconciliation to atone for the historic mistreatment of African-Americans while speaking at George Floyd's funeral.
"But I believe there's one more thing that we ought to do to make a difference. We have got to have reconciliation. This country has not reconciled its differences with us," he said. "We survived slavery, but we didn't reconcile. We survived segregation, but we didn't reconcile."
He added, "It's time for a Department of Reconciliation in the highest land, the highest office. It's time to have someone who’s going to make it his or her business to seek reconciliation for black people in the United States of America every day of his life. That's what it is is all about. It's time for us to reconcile. We need a Department of Reconciliation."
Green is among several lawmakers who have pushed legislation to form a commission to examine slavery and discrimination in the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend remedies. Countries such as Austria, Canada, France and Germany have atoned for past wrongs by paying reparations. The U.S. also paid reparations to Japanese Americans who were held at internment camps, first with the Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act of 1948 and then the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, both of which allocated millions for survivors.
Biden calls for 'racial justice' during emotional George Floyd funeral speech
Joe Biden offered condolences to the grieving family of George Floyd during a taped emotional address played at Floyd's funeral service on Tuesday, urging the country to use his death as a moment for action to address systemic racism.
"Now is the time for racial justice. That’s the answer we must give to our children when they ask why. Because when there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America," an emotional Biden said in the video.
Addressing the Floyd family, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee offered his sympathy that the family had to grieve in public, but assured them their "numbness… will slowly turn, day after day, season after season, into purpose."
'We may weep, we may mourn, but we will find hope'
“This will be a home-going celebration of brother George Floyd," Fountain of Praise pastor Mia K. Wright told mourners at Floyd's memorial service. "We may weep, we may mourn, but we will find hope."
Gospel singer Dray Tate delivered a stirring rendition of "A Change Is Gonna Come," the famed Sam Cooke song that became an anthem of civil rights protests of the 1960s.
As Tate sang, artist Ange Hillz quickly painted a black-and-white portrait of Floyd behind him.
George Floyd's funeral service to include remarks by Joe Biden
George Floyd's funeral service is scheduled to include remarks by former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and U.S. Reps. Al Green, D-Texas, and Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
Biden on Monday met privately with Floyd's family.
Map: George Floyd protests around the world
NYPD officer seen in video shoving woman to ground is charged with assault
A New York City police officer who was seen in a video shoving a woman to the ground at a George Floyd protest in Brooklyn on May 29 is facing multiple charges, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said.
Vincent D'Andraia turned himself in at the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn on Tuesday. He is charged with assault, criminal mischief, harassment and menacing in the incident the city's police commissioner Dermot Shea has described as "troubling" and "disturbing."
He is the first city police officer in New York to face arrest over his conduct during the large protests that have followed since Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after a white officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis during an arrest.
"I fully support the long-held American tradition of non-violent protest," Brooklyn's district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, said in a statement, adding that he "cannot tolerate the use of excessive force against anyone exercising this Constitutionally guaranteed right. This is especially true of those who are sworn to protect us and uphold the law."
House leader Hoyer says Dems aim for vote on policing bill the week of June 22
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters Tuesday that Democrats aim to put the policing overhaul bill that they unveiled this week to a floor vote by the week of June 22.
Hoyer laid out the timeline during his weekly pen and pad conversations with reporters, noting the plan could change depending on whether the bill will be ready by then.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the legislation Wednesday and plans to mark up the measure next week. Hoyer urged Republicans to work with Democrats on crafting the final version by proposing amendments during the committee markup.
Asked about calls by some activists to defund police departments, Hoyer said, "Clearly we need our police departments," but added, "We cannot tolerate either systemic racism in police departments or individual actions of police."
George Floyd's casket arrives at Houston church ahead of funeral
Floyd's loved ones are set to honor the Minneapolis man and Houston native at the Fountain of Praise church before he's laid to rest at Houston Memorial Gardens in nearby Pearland, Texas.
His final resting place will be next to his mother, who he cried out for two week ago as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Four former Minneapolis officers were fired and arrested in connection to Floyd's death, which has touched off protests across the nation as Americans demand action against systemic racism and police brutality.