Hundreds pay respects, call for change at George Floyd’s Raeford memorial service

Local News

RAEFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — As George Floyd’s family continues to grieve, the public came out to show their support and call for change during his memorial Saturday in Hoke County.

A crowd of people watched as George Floyd’s coffin arrived at Cape Fear Conference B headquarters in Raeford Saturday morning.

The parking lot filled up fast with people wanting to pay their respects.  

Na’Tosha Brooks brought her 10-year-old son Connor along.

“It feels kind of sad that he died, and also I’m feeling great to be here,” Connor Brooks said.

Connor’s mom spoke about Floyd’s death and how she has shared it with her son.

“I’ve shielded him from a lot of the images because I didn’t want to instill fear, but I haven’t shielded him from the story because he can’t be blinded by it, he has to understand that,” Brooks said. “People are coming together and maybe real change will come as a result of this because it really does have to stop; it’s been enough blood that’s been shed.”

Another attendee brought flowers.

“I got the white because it represents innocence and purity,” Kim Mencer said about the flowers.

She came from Raleigh to show solidarity for justice.  

“I’ve been a quiet, white, privileged person,” Mencer said. “This was it, it’s last straw for me and I can’t be quiet anymore.”

“We can’t bring his life back, but it will make a difference, it will make a statement,” said Elaine Elliott. “We believe in God that a change will take place.”

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin is also calling for an end to racism.  

“I don’t want to see the story die. George is gone, he’s dead, but if this story dies as we wait until it happens again, then here we go again,” Peterkin said. “Something has to be done.”

“A change will never happen until we all come together and unite as one, not as color, but as one body, one Lord, one Savior, this is how we are going to make a difference in America,” George McCallister said.

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