By IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
(HOUSTON) — A three-state, five-day final journey for George Floyd will end Tuesday morning in Houston, the city he called home for most of his life.
Thousands of mourners, including longtime friends and family members, are expected to attend the final funeral services at The Fountain of Praise on Hillcroft Avenue at 11 a.m. local time.
Floyd, 46, grew up in the city’s Third Ward, where those that knew him say he was loved by friends and family alike, who often referred to the 6-foot 6-inch man as a “gentle giant.”
The service comes a day after the church held a six-hour public viewing of his body that was attended by thousands of mourners including former Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Greg Abbott. Biden is slated give a video message during Tuesday’s private service.
Following the funeral, Floyd will be buried in Houston Memorial Gardens in Pearland, next to his mother, according to the family’s representatives.
Earlier, Floyd had memorial and viewing services in Minneapolis and in North Carolina, where he was born, with thousands of people and dignitaries including the Rev. Al Sharpton in attendance.
Floyd played football for Houston’s Yates High School as a tight end and was part of the team that went to the state championship in 1992. He remained active in the community, particularly in his church, and helped organize events including bible studies and basketball tournaments.
In 2007, Floyd was charged with armed robbery and sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal in 2009. After he was released from prison, Floyd moved to Minneapolis for better job opportunities and held several jobs including working as a bouncer at a restaurant.
Floyd stayed close with his Houston family and friends, and kept in close contact with his daughter Gianna, 6, and her mother Roxie Washington. He was planning on bringing them to Minneapolis full-time, according to friends and family.
On May 25, a convenience store clerk called 911 and reported that Floyd had used a phony $20 bill to pay for cigarettes. Four police officers, Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, answered the call and arrested Floyd outside of his car.
The arrest was captured on several cameras as Chauvin placed Floyd on the ground and put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes while Floyd said “I can’t breathe” before going lifeless. The officers were fired from the force, and all were subsequently arrested.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, while the other three were charged with second-degree aiding and abetting felony murder and second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter.
Floyd’s death sparked protests around the world calling for equal justice and police reform.
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