Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey at George Floyd funeral
© REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey kneels in front of George Floyd’s coffin at his memorial service today.
The mayor of Minneapolis sobbed as he knelt beside George Floyd's casket ahead of a somber memorial in the city on Thursday.

Mayor Jacob Frey was seen breaking down in tears, his body heaving, as he knelt with one hand on the casket of Floyd, 46, whose death at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer last week has sparked widespread protests.

The emotional moment took place in the minutes leading up to the service at North Central University, where Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a fiery eulogy, calling on black people to demand: "Get your knees off our necks."

"It's time for us to step up in George's name and say, 'get your knees of our necks,'" Sharpton said.


Other politicians in attendance at the service — the first in a series of memorials set for three cities over six days — included Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of Minnesota, members of Congress, including Reps. Ilhan Omar, Sheila Jackson-Lee and Ayanna Pressley, Gov. Tim Walz and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

Floyd was murdered 10 days ago on Memorial Day by police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd begged for help and said he couldn't breathe.

His death has caused widespread outrage and set off riots, looting and massive peaceful protests in all 50 states and abroad where demonstrators demanded police reforms.