WRAL News Special: Remembering George Floyd
Since his death in police custody, George Floyd has become a national name. But in his hometown, family, friends and the public have an opportunity to remember him today.
now. No Theo. Within the past 90 minutes, George Floyd's casket arrived in Hall County for the second of three. Memorial service is happening in his honor. Ah, public viewing and visitation has just begun. Good morning. And thank you for joining us for this special report remembering George Floyd. I'm Lena to let this is already bringing an incredibly large crowd to the area. You're looking at Sky five, where you're seeing backup so on for one. Right now it runs in tow one o'clock at the Cape Fear Conference, be headquarters and then beginning right at three o'clock, a private family only memorial. Because of the anticipated crowd in the area, you can expect traffic backups. Overflow. Parking is available at the nearby Rockfish Church, which you can see on this map here this morning. We're covering this story for you from all angles. We have W aerials Gilbert Bays at the Cape Fear Conference be headquarters, along with Brian Mims. We also have several guests joining us for our coverage, including Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins, Duke University history professor Adrien Len Smith and North Carolina Central University School of Law Professor Irving Joyner. We begin this hour with W RL's Gilbert Bays live at the Cape Fear Conference, be headquarters in rape earned where the visitation began moments ago. And Gilbert. I was listening in when the casket went into that building, and you could hear people crying as they watched this historic moment in Hall County. That's right. It was emotional. Got dead silence. You could hear a pin drop in the back of the cat. Hurst opened, and they started pulling the body out. Of course, cell phones and cameras were up. Everyone was taking pictures, and then the body was moved inside the conference center. You see the crowd going in now. This was not supposed to start until 11 o'clock, but because of the humidity in the crowd that was out here earlier, they started to move the line through earlier than they did. So the crowd is coming through there. Thousands of folks have already gone through, You know, this is because George Floyd sister lives in Ho counting. I reached out to her and interviewed her last week and talk with share, and they got together and decided to put this together, and I had a chance, as I said, to talk with them earlier this week. It tears me apart. I wish I could have saved him. Bridget Floyd lives in Hall County and has fond memories of her brother. George Floyd died in Minneapolis while in custody of police. All four officers involved have been charged. His sister says she looked at him as a father figure after losing her dad. He would give me advice. Are you know the best? The best decision to make George Floyd's connection to North Carolina is one reason his body is being brought here. But Tour Wilson organized a peaceful protest. Friday's march in Rayford was in memory of Freud toe, honor his family and speak up for all people of color who have experienced racial profiling or brutality. Do the right thing. I'm really trying encourage everybody else, too. Stand up, you know. Take it, take it. Take a stand. Don't wait for nobody. Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin says what happened to Floyd at the hands of police officers was wrong. We want the family to know that even though it was not our agency that done it, we care about what happened. We don't want this to happen, again. We want to do with that whatever we can to make sure that this don't continue and our communities give, of course, share. Peterkin is gonna be one of the speakers that will be during the memorials for the family. That's gonna happen this afternoon. Three o'clock. So we'll Ruby Floyd. That's the stepmother of George Floyd, who lives in favor and still works. Fable State University and Gilbert. I was listening in to your Facebook live, and I watched as one whole county commissioner was walking into the facility and he said something that that really struck me in terms of how big of a deal this is for a whole county. This is history. Can you talk about that? I talked about that. Not only with commissioner, but everybody is here. Who's bringing Children here? They're saying this is a This is a moment in time that they want to be involved with. That they want to see and they want to teach young folks about. This is about making a change. Not here in Hall County, not in Minneapolis, but across the country. And as you see from some of the protests around the world, what happened to George Flory, everyone knows shouldn't have happened. But now the question is, what happens next? That's the That's the main thing. And I say, I think we're seeing that come out as this crowd comes out and pays their last respect. Now, I'm not here lonely. And, as you know, my colleague, our colleague Bryan Mims, is here as well. Brian, what is your perspective? What are you seeing down on the ground here? Yeah, I'm along highway for a one at the entrance to the Cape. Your conference center B and traffic is at a standstill in both directions of for a one mainly south bound lanes of for a one going toward Rayford. But you could see the crowd gathered out here in front of the church. And there are vendors, people selling masks and T shirts, T shirts with Justice for George Floyd, and I can't breathe printed on them and way have a large turnout. Hundreds of people have been coming through for the last couple of hours, making their way inside this sanctuary. It has all been very peaceful. There are people who have driven from Raleigh and Durham from Riegelwood and Wilmington, driven an hour and 1/2 2 hours to be here. So it's not just the Fayetteville and Ray for community there. People from throughout central and eastern North Carolina who have made their way into the sanctuary and some of these folks have gone inside and come back out. In fact, we'll get a few words from, Ah, family who was just inside to get their reflections. This week, I had the opportunity to meet one of George Floyd's family members in North Carolina, Roger Floyd. He is an insurance salesman and insurance agency owner in Raleigh, and he told me he vividly remembers the day George Floyd was born. Take a listen. I got a boy, right? We got a boy October 14th 1973 7 months before Roger Floyd earned his degree from Fayetteville State. He was living with his older brother at his home in Fayetteville. My brother, he was on Cloud nine because his brother, George Perry Floyd, had brought home. A son gave him the same name. But the child's parents divorced when he was a toddler, and he moved with his mom to Houston. Uncle Roger talked with him over the years on the phone. And then came May 26th 2020. Ah, phone call. It was Roger's younger brother in New York. We lost our nephew, Perry Jr is what we call it, and I just said what he said. Yeah, he was killed by a police officer, he says. His throat clogged up. And did you see the video that day? Did you want you? I attempted in the video. His nephew lay there on the ground are police officers knee on his neck. And then what broke my heart? Brian, more than anything else is when he called out for his mom. That's when I said that he was probably dying at that point with my sister in law having already passed. George Floyd's mom passed away from cancer a couple of years ago. Roger Floyd says his nephew had been a counselor for young people in Minneapolis and worked security often with the officer accused of killing him. I really think it was something personal. Still, he says, too many police officers mistreat black individuals with impunity is sustain it because it's the way the law of the land read. They're too many legal loop hoes. Roger Floyd is encouraged by the national outrage, but he's angered when peaceful protests erupt into vandalism and looting. Yes, I would say Stop this. It's uncalled for. There's no justification in doing that when they do, he says. They only Maher his nephews memory, and they risk having the message lost in all the noise. Bryan Mims, WRL News, Raleigh on had a chance to meet him on Tuesday, he says. Roger Floyd says he had not seen his nephew in a number of years, but that George would come visit family members of grandmother cousins here in North Carolina and was last year a couple of years ago in Samson County. Now I had a chance to meet some people here who were just inside the sanctuary and one of the individuals is Sean on Google And you, you live here in Fayetteville. And why were you so inspired to be here in person today? I was fired because I will just show not just skin color. You just show I don't remember. You went inside the church. What was it like in there? Just described the mood and what kind of feeling it gave you. You have to be in there. Thank you for your perspective. I appreciate that. I know it's a little loud with the motorcycles going up. We have a group of motorcycles coming in to church are actually heading down another road, a side street off baby Raper Road. It is a large turnout. Hundreds, probably a couple of 1000 people have arrived here in Cape Fear Conference Center Be and let's give you a perspective from above. We have a tad flowers and sky thought to give us a few from what it looks like up their chance. All right, it looks like we're having difficulty right now getting audio from Chad flowers. As soon as we do, we will certainly bring that to you. But as you can see from Sky 5401 is packed right now, as hundreds are trying to attend this public visitation, you can see more and more people lining up in order to see the casket, which is which will be here until one PM What we do know right now is this is a joint effort. It's not just the whole county Sheriff's office managing this situation, Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins telling me that the Fayetteville Police Department is providing assistance. This is incredibly close to Fayetteville, and they want to make sure that this is a smooth process so that people can grieve and they congrats in an orderly way. But again, we continued to Seymour and more cars arrive here to this facility in Rayford, Bryan Mims, on the ground, monitoring that situation and monitoring the traffic backups as well. And Gilbert Bays will continue to talk to people as they are incredibly moved by this situation happening in Hoke County. This remembrance for George Floyd. George Floyd, born in Fayetteville But he left as a toddler, grew up in the third Ward in Houston, Texas. I don't know if you saw any of the live pictures out of Houston, tens of thousands of people showing up in his hometown there, and we continue to see s O. Many people in our area honoring his life as well. You are seeing motorcycles as well. This procession in honor of George Floyd, they are going down the side of the road there on 41 on, and the will be guided by police officers and deputies as they try to go in and pay their respects. Family members will begin to arrive later on for the private ah service on Lee for family members and loved ones, which will begin at three PM and we will be able to show you that service. So again, if you plan on going to the public visitation or if you're traveling through Hoke County, you do need to be prepared for those traffic delays. Parking is limited at the conference be headquarters, but the community has really stepped up a number of local organizations, businesses offering up their own parking lots so that people will be able to pay their respects. Overflow parking is available at the Rockfish Church. Shuttle buses are available via hoc area transit, and the sheriff's office wants to remind you not to park along highway. For one, the public visitation again runs in tow. One. The memorial service begins at three oclock. It is private, but we will air that right here on WRL and are streaming devices starting at three o'clock. It's interesting. This is expected to be a very intimate service with local family members, family members who live in this area, as well as family members who live in other parts of the country. Now, for the past week, we brought you scenes like this one all across our area, as people are coming together peacefully to protest and call for police reform. In Durham, demonstrators briefly shut down the Durham Freeway because that group wanted a conversation with the police chief, C. J. Davis. Mayor Steve School also met with some of the protesters in person. And here's what he told W. R. Ailes, Gerald Owens about that conversation. The murder of George Floyd was just horrible, horrible act. And to think that something like that could happen in the year 2020 is just unbelievable. And so, of course I would much rather people not be blocking a freeway. But the fact that they left peacefully and that are they arranged a meeting with our police chief in our sheriff on Friday is very meaningful to me, very meaningful to our community. And so I'm grateful for the Peacefulness of the protesters on I'm grateful for the patients and Peacefulness of our of our police force an emotional week in Fayetteville as well that started with the curfew following Saturday's unrest downtown. But since six straight days of peaceful demonstrating. It's personal for people in this community. As we mentioned earlier, Floyd was born in fable in the middle of the week. Police chief Gina Hawkins joined in their march wanting to be a part of protest. We've been wanting to speak out against the actions right here, marching with the people. They took an oath to protect. The police department is the community. That's why we're here, chanting and holding signs together, not police versus protestor. They had tough conversations about change. I don't know what else to say. Well, you're here with us. We listen and we hear and we understand and we empathize. It's showing us as a nation, showing us, US federal, that cops are important because they are here with us, every generation standing, letting their voices be heard. And I want to know the power that we have in protest ing on here for black people is not right. For people, for lacking, little be killed. This march isn't the end. There are still conversations, questions and mainly action. The people of faith will still want to see and have a lot of people care about the market house if the market house is gonna be gone, it's going to go on the correct way. I'm processing today. I will converse and my role later. But I'm part of the community right now. They all make up this community. Brasilia Ferreira, Debbie Auriol News Say it, bill And again, Chief Hawkins is with us live this morning via Zoom. Thanks so much for joining us. Chief Hawkins. Good morning. So I just want to begin with your reaction to this outpouring that we're seeing in terms of 100 showing up to George Floyd's public visitation. What are your thoughts about that? You know, one. It's an honor first, to be a part of history in this manner, to be able to have the ceremony here to be able to more for our community is hurting as well as the world is hurting. To be in support, to be able to provide support to Hope County and just to continue not just allowing people to find solutions to this outcry that's affecting us. All I said earlier were part of the community law enforcement. My police department across the board are engaged with the community, so when we see numerous incidents like this. It makes us angry as well. And we want solutions that are true actions. We want true changes. And we want to be a believe the way in our community and across the nation of what does that look like? So it's an honor to be able to support this event. We were showing video of that marching that you were doing in Fayetteville. What did people tell you? That they specifically wanted you to do you know, um, they just want they They were one glad that I was sharing with them. How hurt I waas as well that we as a department and not just me personally, I shared early on when we first saw that video, my entire department, it was shocked by the video was shocked by the actions as we have been shocked across the nation across the nation. When anything like that, when someone is in this uniform and not representing what we do so it makes us angry to see that and see that displayed against the people we say we stand up to serve. We have seen protests before in terms of people gathering for the death of Philando Castille for Briana Taylor, for Trayvon Martin for Michael Brown. The call and response we've become familiar with. But this death George Floyd's death, which we all watched in that gruesome video, appears to be a sea change. Do you think it's because we watched him die on camera? You know, that was the cop shop, the conscious moment. And if someone does not understand, they are obligated toe watch like we all should be watching to shock the conscience of realizing something has to change. Action needs to be taking place. Discussions, empathy, understanding all that needs to start occurring right now so that we can together be moved towards equality, identifying issues, recognizing biases, recognizing racism and seeing not just a law enforcement. Where can we make movement in our health care and our education in everything to deal with this? But that was probably the movement that we literally had to in tears. Watch someone get killed, Chief. I wondered if you could share maybe a conversation that you've had with any of your officers, who maybe their minds were changed as a result of what happened to Floyd and the outcry since you know, um, the conversations I've had is the hurt. You know, we come in and behind the scenes and we're appalled that anyone you know, we get hurt with the community as a victim against other ones. But we get appalled and hurt. We see that so we've had many conversations behind the scenes of behind the walls of the police department, you know, trying to figure out to continue our relationships, how that impacts us and impacts everything. And we see now across the world a nation how truly you know people really need to start listening, paying attention and really doing action. So there's many conversations and even during the tense moments, the emotional moments, it's affected my organization emotionally, spiritually, because we have two rolls, one we protect. But we also have a job to do, which is why we really encourage stand up, speak out, do it lawfully so that we can join together. We want to be a part of the speaking, out, listening, listening for what? What? What are the solutions? We want to be a part of that. But it is difficult to be a part of that when we also have to protect the community and prevent any type of damage is to the community prevent any type of injuries to individuals. So but we want to be a part of that change, and we have to do it lawfully. You said two roles for many of your police officers as we continue to look live at the long line of people going to see George Fluids Casket at the Cape Fear Conference be headquarters. ASUs Visitation will continue until 1 p.m. But Chief Hawkins, you talked about the two roles. You have 1/3 role. You're an African American woman and you're an African American woman That is also a police chief. Yes, what do you think? Do you think that you should be chief during this moment? Is this a particular moment that you believe allows you to lead in a particular and an appropriate way for what's happening? I believe absolutely. I've been prepared because I too, when I take this uniform off, have those thoughts and have those fears and have to deal with that situation for me and my family. So absolutely, I empathize and understand the importance of the two rows that three rows, the anger, the heart that's in our community. So absolutely. You feel it so acutely because you know that people in your family could potentially be in a situation like this. My Children Me. When I take this uniform off and go across any line me, I think about where am I going? What's the next distance was my route. I think of all that. You know, Chief Hawkins, I've been fortunate to talk to you over the years. You started in Fayetteville three years ago. A zoo. There were concerns about police brutality against African Americans. Then And you told me your first call as a police officer. You got incredibly emotional And how officers told you, you'll have to hold it in. You have to hold that in. But you realized you needed to be empathetic. People needed to see that you're human and that you feel and we're seeing that now. You know, traditionally is not just me. My officers need to know it is okay to express, because when we keep it inside, it effects this this idea that you're less than courageous, your less than strong No, we're human. And when that happens, then there's some expectation that we don't understand. But when I tell you we feel it, we understand it and we're tired of it. It's really it's really for all of us as an organization. Hawkins, thanks so much for your time will be back checking in with you through our coverage here, and we have certainly seen so much support for George Floyd, its coming in so many forms. WRL Fayetteville reporter Gilbert Bates shows us how a local artist decided to honor him and hopes to use his talents to inspire change. Carlos Filipino is the artist who painted this picture of George Floyd. A small memorial is growing beneath it, and people stopped by all the time to take pictures with it. After I came home Saturday night and everything was going on, I really feel bad for the businesses here in town that we just got to open and, you know, they had a close all over again. So I just feel like we needed something, you know, positive. To commemorate his life, Floyd is pictured with Angel Wings and a halo R I P is under his chin. His name George is in all caps. It's been just about a week since he painted it. He's thought a lot about it since then. You got away from it. Now you come out here, look at it. What goes through your head now? I mean, it's just it's unbelievable, You know, the impact that you know, like this doing people. Tolentino put together a time lapse video of him creating the project. He set up a projector to project the image onto the plywood. He says he could have drawn freehand, but the projected image made the word go faster. It took him about four hours to complete, but he believes he's created an image that will forever be etched in the minds of those who stopped to see it. Very, very positive response. I saw this lady yesterday. She was crying right here. Saw the homeless guy walking also, uh, got any means prayed. And I love you, bro. And walking. Since we're listening to J. Cole, a Fayetteville native. Beautiful artwork there, four hours to complete. Unbelievable. Let's get back out on the outside of Cape Fear Conference, be headquarters where so many people are continuing to file in Gilbert. Tell us about the emotion out there right now. We'll tell you people have come through. They've been very solemn once they've gone through there, told not to take their cellphones in and they're being given face masks if they don't have them. It's a very solid things. Never did Facebook live, and I walked around the parking lot and talk with people after they came out of viewing George Floyd's body. And that's a pretty emotional Our responses from them about what it meant to them after they saw the body as well have shared your Peterkin here. But would you want to show you the line is still going in here? This was supposed to start at 11 o'clock, but the share said, You know, there's a lot of humidity out here. We got a lot of big crowd out there suddenly started about 19 minutes, 20 minutes after 10 to accommodate the crowd and make sure folk sustains Sheriff, I appreciate you spending some time with me here, your assessment of what's going on out here so far today, what I want to say. First of all, I got to think this public community from all over for listening to the advice of respect in this family people are just showing nothing but love. You hit him chatting George's name, throwing their hands in the air. White, black, Latino. All everybody's involved with this. And it's just a wonderful feeling at this moment to see how people have come together. And so far, everything is going smooth. Way got a lot of people out here a lot of a lot of movement on the highway. So far, everything is going like it's supposed to go. You know, it was about 10 days ago when you and I talked about I was having an interview with you and way everyone just realized that Bridget Floyd lived in this community. And once you found that out, you reached out to the family, and the family has embraced you and your law enforcement agency. Talk about some of things that you talked with family and tell you what I I have to admit. I was nervous at first when I when I went to the house, because I didn't know how they was going to look at me, how it is going to receive me, a za law enforcement person. But from the moment I walked in that door and Bridget Floor, Who's George's sister. She reached out to take my hand and I thought conversations. It was very down to Earth. I felt like I was part of the family on Then when she hold me going out the door, it was real to me and said to me that you're gonna be one of the speakers later today during the private memorial that the public will not get a chance to to be a part of wre is gonna broadcast it live, and the people will be able to see it on our station on our digital platforms as well. Give us a sense of what message? You're gonna leave as a law enforcement officer here at a memorial for a man who was who died while in the custody of a law enforcement officer. I'm going. My message is gonna be centered around this problem way. Can't denies going on on. Then I'm going to try to speak something to my law enforcement parts. There's some good officers I hear a lot of, but I want to say something toe. And while I'm in a position to maybe get them to hear me a little bit, not gonna have a lot of time, but I think I'll sell enough for them to get the point because we can't keep letting this happen folk a dime. And we cannot have a double standard in this stuff. You know, it's not fair. And these young folks are angry. These young people are angry, you know, at my age, I'm older, mature, but for them to comprehend all this when they see something wrong on and I'll be honest with, you know, if this had have been four brothers, four brothers in the community and they would have attacked on through a law enforcement officer, a police officer on that ground and one of them would have put their needs in his neck on camera. Never been a statewide manhunt for those four brothers, and they would have been arrested, and all four would have been charged with murder immediately. Problem is not just police, whole judicial system. It's got got a look at this. And I'm not talking about North Carolina. Do it one way in South Carolina. Do it another. This thing got to be consistent throughout the whole United States of America, or there's gonna be a war in this in the United States that we don't need way talk about not having wars on our soul. But it's gonna be one If this continues, there's gonna be a war on this on. I saw with these young people in all the different and I know being a black officer its hold and let me explain it If you got a minute, my community, when they look at me as a black officer way, have to get it from both ways. They look at me as a black officer. They don't trust us right now, and that's the most community. That's fear. They don't trust me as it also. And then they questioned my blackness. That question. Do I understand or have I forgotten who I am? Am I going to do something about this or my allowing or supporting this mess that's going on? I'm hurt. I'm hurt for all the victims of this, and I'm hurt for our profession. I feel like I'm living the dream. Is a law enforcement officer always want to do it ever since I was 10 years old, but it's becoming a nightmare. You and I talk. I don't know If you want to share this now, you're gonna save it for your remarks. Inside the service, you told me about six words for doing okay, So My God, So you're going? You hold off on that. But that was powerful in what you said. And we will be broadcasting your remarks live. And I think everyone should want to hear those six words that you talked about. Anything else you want to say to you? I just I just want to thank you know, there's a lot of moving parts in this. I mean, including our media. I want to thank the media, thank the media for a hearing to protocols that put in place to doing good stories. We got you guys in a good place and in the community again. I cannot spread. I want to thank Hope County Community. This community here is what I love to the bottom my heart way don't have all that race attention. Law enforcement is engaged with them. We show ourselves we involved the community. We show love. We participate. I know. Without a doubt, the people in this community know where we stand on something like this. You Yesterday marched with protesters. Gina Hawkins did it. Her officers kneeled. I think that video had over a 1,000,000 views were starting to see that happen across the country. That's something that we hadn't seen at protests in the past. Is that making a difference? That it seems like law enforcement, really hearing the voices of the community. I think that's a step in the right direction. But we got a lot more than Scott. Be more net, and it's got to be, really I'm a weakened, the older. But what's in here is what counts. This has got to get it. That's what the change is gonna come. Okay, I heard one attorney say that this is not about training. It's about makes its about screening because if that officer it is what he said, if that officer who had his knee on George Floyd's neck didn't know that was wrong, that's not about training. It's about what you just said. That's it. It's hard. It's about screening to make sure you have officers who understand that. Would you agree with that state? Yes, I do. But the leaders got the lead. The leaders of law enforcement agencies got to lead. They got to know that this is a problem and it starts from the top. Okay. You know, we have to present ourselves from leadership at the top. So the officers, the people that we manage understand it. We will not tolerate that. That's not what's accepted in this community. Then we got to do some house cleaning, not sprinkling brain cleaning. We dusted his friend housecleaning. Check out the trash. If you got that mess in your organization and you see it, you cannot play around with it in need more. They got to go. And you got to be a man. A woman. Enough in your organization of leadership, if you will. Serious about what's going on. You got to get it out of there. I can't. It doesn't matter who that person is related to who they know can put politics in it. But the world can't keep doing what we're doing right now. And I'll say this. George died. So are we gonna let the story die? We're gonna let the story die. His life was a sacrifice. Okay, but for what? What was the sacrifice that he made for this? All right, We appreciate you talking with us, And he brings a pretty good perspective about this. I've known share for some time when he was a police officer in Fayetteville with the rollers used to sing with them. And now he shared here in Hope County. And you also the president of the Sheriff's Association. Executive member. I had a chance with your So he brings a lot of experience the whole county, when talking about these issues here and have county commission just running up here, I think I think is here. Let me let me introduce my okay. This is the whole kind of chairman of whole kind of border commissioners. I have to say that he's over here trying to say something about me, but I can't listen. Border commissions of the county government. We couldn't have done this without They're supported this from day one. It really shows and says a lot. All of us. Until everyone have That's a pillar about your name and what this means. Your county have this happening here right now, James leads to tomorrow kind of more commission. This is very important. County Sheriff Department for the way they carry out this work this duty. We're so thankful that hope kind is able to host this show history. This is hitching for I threat so much the young folks and really come out and see what's going on. Your thought that that one of your residences is a sister? Absolutely. And we're here to support. I wanted percent, knowing that we have that note County and is a great is good for us. Great Shut, hoping to work with his staff yet, But I just want to thank them job Well done. It's been good up to now way. No, it will in good and his leadership hope kind chef department Love government Want to say thank you. We appreciate both of you again. The memorial service is going to be private for the family. Thank you both for talking with me. That's gonna be getting three wr. We were broadcast that live, and we will also have it on our streaming platforms as well. After the memorial service here, we're told that George Lloyd's body will be taken to the airport and flown directly to Houston and then on Monday there will be a memorial service there and the actual burial you talk about a big and not only national, probably international Sarah service. That is what you're going to see down in Houston as well. But right now, a very moving service. That's gonna happen this afternoon. And folks have been very solid walking through looking at George Lloyd's body. I walked through a moment ago and just said a prayer and came Came back out. Incredibly moving words from share of Peterkin Gilbert, How orderly is it right now? How long are people kind of hovering over as they pay their respects isn't happening quickly. They're moving people through pretty quickly again. They're not. You're not. Take your camera and take any pictures or anything like that. So I went in, just turned and faced the casket and said a quick prayer to myself and came out. So people moving actually pretty quickly, let me show the parking lot. Here you can see the family is not here. These limousines from buoy will actually hit to the theme the hotel where they're located and pick the family up later for the A memorial. Come on up here a little bit. Also, we see season folks here. I say you have a lot of folks that are here coming out on horseback and motorcycles to come out and pay their respects. All these organizations are different groups here in Hope County that are coming out to pay their respects to the family. So again, pretty moving situation. You see still big, pretty big crowd of folks who are making their way through. Some of the folks have already gone through, but they're still here in the parking lot. But things right now just emotional, I guess, is the best way to describe people coming from every location in the state, from cities from rural communities. And we can see the Cowboys there as well, lunging to pay their respects to George Floyd, who will check back in with you in a bit. Thanks so much Gilbert for that incredibly moving interview. WRL Bryan Mims is also live in front of the conference center at the entrance where people are going in and Brian, you've been listening, talking to the people in the crowd. What are they telling you? They're telling me it was imperative for them to be here. Sure, they could watch this online that could watch it on television but they needed to be here in person and bear witness, let me show you some of the young people who were here. There's a group holding up posters Right now. Black lives matter. We are not targets. One says hashtag black lives matter. And we've been seeing people carrying posters and signs wearing T shirts saying Justice for George Floyd and High Camp Breed. That's another popular message on shirts and posters. Let me talk with a couple of the individuals here, ma'am. B R E l And where you from? Gold. You came from Goldsboro. What is your name? Renisha breeds. Why was it so important for you to come and be here in person today? Because I'm a black woman. I have black sons. I have black family. This is important. We are not targets. These are the names of all of those who were killed on. Just I can't say all I killed unjustly by long When this happened last week. In the intervening almost two weeks. 12 days since this happened. How has your life changed for you and your family? What hand packed as it had on you? Like I said, I'm a black room and I have like family. It could have been any of us. Let me bring you into the discussion and too many of us have lost our lives in such a way. This has to stop too much. We can't take it anymore. We are not OK. Do you think the death of George Floyd will be that critical moment? That critical turning point when things really do change in society? Sincerely hope so. That's why we're out here so further. The message to further the cause. Because too many lives of people that look like me that looked like my nephews that looked like my father have passed away in this manner is too much. Were you inside the sanctuary? Did you go inside? It would be too much to bear to go inside. It's a beauty in such a manner. I couldn't do it. I feel like we're doing our part about being here, showing support, raising awareness. This must stop way, not target should not matter. We should not be way. You should not be targeted at all. Profile. Harassed on a regular basis. It's too much weight can river than an African culture. African history without being a little bit. Sadly, thank you both for your perspectives. I really appreciate your talking with us. Said Let me just set the scene again for you. I'm sure you can hear the rumble of motorcycles. Group of motorcyclists that just pulled into the parking lot of the conference be Take your conference. The church and most of the riders, or at least some of them, have their fists in the air. And Gilbert pointed out the mental horseback. We did see horses come through alongside highway for a one. And, as you see the motorcyclist go in in the foreground. There have been vendors selling T shirts, T shirts with image of George Floyd on the front, and the crowd is grating the motorcycle with their hands in the air, fist in the air. So that is a clear gesture of support. Let me show you. Let me see if I could turn around. We got a predominantly African American group here, but we do have white individuals here, including this woman right up, you know, with you. Okay. Okay. But I say it was important for you to be here. Clearly Way. Okay, Okay, okay. We're on live television. I just want to get a word from you. Okay, So, motorcyclist, going in and out of the church. And I would say there are thousands of people. I would put it beyond just 100 here, a couple of 1000 at least who had turned out for this event. And these are individuals coming from not just a faithful area, but from Raleigh Durham. We met some people from Wilmington Way just interviewed those women from Gold girl and boy, Let's get a perspective from above. We have Sky Five flying overhead to give us the view from the air. I'm gonna send it up to Chad Flowers in sky. Hey, Brian, we are up above the church. There. Askew can see the most. Cyclists are making their way through the parking lot to show their respects to Mr Floyd. A zai pulled back to show you traffic traffic has been a bit of concern. This morning. Back into Rayford, traffic is backed up for about 1/2 mile, but headed towards Favell. Traffic is backed up all the way up. But to Riley and Cliff Dale roads, as you can see, the traffic coming towards Rayford out of fable is Ah, pretty heavy traffic area this morning. So if you're headed from from available over to Rayford, you will definitely want to avoid highway for a one. Unless you're headed to the memorial service this morning, Askew can see everything is running smooth down there. The motorcyclist start making their way through. We've also seen some people on horseback make their way up to show their respects as well. But we've seen we've been up for a little over an hour now. We've seen just hundreds of not thousands of people come through a Z. You can see they're lined up at the parking lot, all watching this unfold. A zit occurs, so right now everything is running smooth. If you're in the area for a one headed from fable to Rayford, you will want to take an alternate route unless you're headed to the church or the Rockfish Rockfish Church for the parking of the memorial service. Later, Chad, thanks so much, really giving us that aerial perspective of how far the backups go. The line does appear to be moving expeditiously, but still you have hundreds of people as Chad and Brian Mims said perhaps thousands who are here wanting to pay their respects. We will certainly continue to monitor what's happening on the ground to talk to us more, though, about the response to George Floyd's death in the United States and across our country or the world. Rather, is North Carolina Central University professor Irving Joyner and Professor Joyner. You know, I was decided to do a little research before this morning because I was trying to think of how important it is to reflect on history to explain what's happening now in times of uncertainty. We go back to history, and we know throughout history history, there been events that have served as catalysts of change. I think about Emmett Till, and the decision by his mother, too. Show his brutalized body in that casket, that image echoing across the country and shocking the American public. And it appears now that there's a shift happening as a result of George Floyd's death. Can you put it into perspective for us? Historically, Yes. Thank you for that historical reference. Uh, it waas the Emmett till death. Uh, that was a galvanizing force for the civil rights movement. Uh, many of the activists one. Oh, that time, Uh, credit Mrs uh, uh, mother's decision to showcase the brutality and the picture of just what the impact of this unlawful, uh, act directed toward a young 13 year old black boy that angered African Americans and kind of put into perspective the Hong that all African Americans at that time faced. And I think that with George floored the picture of him, him dying Ah, in Minneapolis. And then the decision. Ah, here to I guess what I call historical therapy to help people to see the face of this brutality equally serves as a galvanizing force. Now, it's certainly galvanized a reaction across this country and indeed around the world that we have not seen before. I give in the scope that we are dealing with it here and the recognition by a lot of people who are in positions of power, that there needs to be some some changes and that these changes need to be made now because we have had this history of African Americans being killed through the abuse of police power by people who are doing with of the power of the state and that resulting in the death of people and a lack of accountability. Awful that misconduct. And I think that we are at a place similar to what occurred following the death and funeral of material. We also have joining us Duke history professor Adrien Len Smith, and I wanted to ask you, Professor Smith, what's also been struck a lot of people is the broad swath of people joining in this movement in the past with Michael Brown and other situations where African Americans have died by police, largely the people protesting our black and brown. But we're not seeing that right now. How significant is that for this moment for this movement and for what could come in terms of change? I think it's incredibly significant, right? It means that people are listening people beyond the black and brown communities that are affected are listening to African Americans saying What's happening to them and as we've talked about are watching what's happening in communities when they weren't before either seeing it or were skeptical of it, they've been it was a multi racial, multi ethnic groups before in protest. You think of the Southern civil rights movement when part of the organizing work was about getting white Americans involved and invested in making a better America for African Americans, but for themselves as well. But there weren't those multi racial and ethnic groups in the urban north where the same kind of intractable problems have been building and had been happening, right. So what we see now is a spread in some ways, from the Southern movements ethos to the broader to the broader public. And Professor Smith, I actually had a white friend who said something to me that was that really opened my eyes to how cultural that this issue can be. So it was interesting, she said. You know, I didn't know another African Americans name who had been killed a T hands of police before George Floyd. And I thought, Well, you can ask an African American and they will rattle off a list of, uh, and tell you about the corresponding protests that have come as a result of those deaths. And now she wants to do research toe, learn more about this issue. What do you make of that? Are we living in silos? We are, I suppose we I mean, it's interesting, right? I'm an educator my job is to company to people with generosity and to move them out of their ignorance. And on some level, I am completely incredulous by that statement. Made it incredulous by that statement. Right? That means that she couldn't have heard Michael Brown's Dave. How is that possible, Right? Did you think that Ferguson was just a spontaneous eruption? Um, but I suppose so. Right. I suppose that there's a way that you cannot hear the language that is being spoken all around you. There's a way that you cannot see the suffering that is being experienced all around you, even when people are announcing it over and over again. Um, I think that African Americans have made some really powerful and with the help of mainstream media, how powerful cultural products about, um, the African American experience around surveillance and parade police. And some part of me is like, Has she never listened to like gangster Matt? Did she not see Fruitvale station that on some level, you have to not want to know in order to not know? But now people are learning, and now people are learning, and I do think that as someone mentioned earlier seeing George Floyd dying on camera is even different from telling people that George Floyd has been killed. There's a way that the Kobe 19 prices has sent us college our homes so that we're expecting experiencing all of life virtually. And so when you see someone else's virtual like suffering through your computer, it hits with an immediacy that it might not have previously. We also have Chief Gina Hawkins with us this hour, and I wanted to ask Chief Hawkins where we move from here. We have been hearing specific demands from protesters wanting deescalated de escalation training, wanting things like a ban on chokeholds. Where do we move from here In terms of providing some of these policy changes implementing some of these policy changes within your department. Do you have a conversation? Do you really assess what it is that they're asking for? So, uh, Lena, you know, my department already has that in place were removed from here is not just my department. This needs to be established standards that our national standards that are not where I'm OK because I know I'm training my officers or I'm making sure the training is being in place for the regular laws, for the duty to respond or just my department. The standards cannot continue to be a volunteer if you want to be accredited for best practices. This has big nationally implemented, so I am not worried about driving into the next jurisdiction to see how they're trained. National standards is a must for issues like this, so I know that what's the expectation? I know what should be trained on. I know the tactics that are acceptable and not acceptable. But it's not enough for just me to know many other leaders. And no, there were 18,000 police departments in our nation alone. It needs to be standard across the board and implemented nationally and not a volunteer basis. It needs to be mandated in mandatory trip Hawkins. Professor Smith and Professor Joyner. Thank you so much for where that incredible insight and guiding us through this historic moment. I want to get back out to Gilbert Bayes, who is live in front of the Conference Center where people continue to show up. They continue to pay their respects, their their in the thousands. Now Gilbert, that's right, and the lien is starting to trickle down, but we get waves and waves of folks, some folks that they've come from. Winston Salem, Charlotte. I talked to one gentleman, said, There's no way that George Floyd's body could be in North Carolina. I'd be in Charlotte and I not make the trip to come here to view his body. It is a very moving thing for anyone who's ever lost someone to go to the funeral, to the viewing and pay your respects and if nothing else, just to get a perspective. Not only did you didn't have that, you don't have to know a person when you go to a funeral to get a perspective of it. These two individuals right here just from Hope meals you just went through. What's your name? Yes, my name is Carolyn Coley and use this year. My wonderful husband, Billy Cooley was just like, Why did you have to come by and view the body? It's like I just had to, um, you know, I'm just honored to not only I'm a mom of two and grandmother of six. Not only that, but I am a leader, artistic pastor of a church and, you know, with all that is going on, we as leaders and not just black people, but all of us. We have to make a stand, Teoh. Just love one another, you know, and to do treat each other with respect and dignity. I think that's what this is all about. And when when I went through to view the body, you know, people always says he looks at it, he's at peace and he looks good or all that, but this is bigger than what he looks like. Now, talk about that a little bit. Yeah, there is bigger. I mean, when you look when you when you think about the whole scenario of what we're going to hear is much bigger and much deeper. And we One thing I would like to say about the crease and community is I mean, it's time for the Christian community to actually Dan up front and center to be a part of this way. Sometimes sit back on the sideline and coming. Look at it. And then we make our some shows up with recommend or whatever, but to be a part of to get right smack in the middle of it. Movement was a movement being a part of it and you know it taken the Kristen. It follows Christ to really make a different India because it don't stop right, right, And I could tell that you're married to a festive. She was Amen and everything said, We're in church right now. We appreciate you stopping by. Thank you again. And that's the sentiment that we've heard from a lot of folks on why they had to come out here. It's a moving sentiment. It's one that's going to go way beyond what's happening here with viewing and special memorial service that just see later this afternoon. Wre Gilbert Thank you so much for those live reports live in Hope County outside the conference centre again. George Floyd's visitation happening right now for one more hour. This is video of his casket arriving around 10 30 this morning, we heard people audibly weeping as that was happening. A very emotional moment. The public visitation runs in tow. One oclock. The memorial service starts at three oclock. It is private, but we will be airing it live on WRL TV and our digital devices starting at three o'clock. We will also have our coverage on our news tonight at six o'clock. Thank you so much for watching and have a great day