Public viewing for George Floyd underway in Houston

Courtesy Ben Crump LawBy ELLA TORRES and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News

(HOUSTON) — Mourners wearing masks lined up in the Houston heat Monday to pay their respects to George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody.

The six-hour public viewing is the last memorial to honor Floyd before his funeral on Tuesday.

Floyd lived in Houston before moving to Minneapolis, where he died on May 25.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among the attendees at the Fountain of Praise church. In a CNN video, he said Floyd “has not died in vain.”

“His life will be a living legacy, about the way that America and Texas respond to this tragedy,” Abbott said. “I am committed to working with the family of George Floyd to ensure we never have anything like this ever occur in the state of Texas.”

Abbott said he was meeting with Floyd’s family to express his condolences in private, and that a flag will be flown over the Texas capital in honor of Floyd.

“We are proud George Floyd is a Texan,” Abbott said. “This is the most horrific tragedy I ever personally observed. But George Floyd is going to change the arc of the future of the United States.”

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden also met with the Floyd family in Houston Monday. Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Floyd’s family, said Biden met with the family for more than an hour. “He listened, heard their pain, and shared in their woe,” Crump tweeted.

The viewing started at 12 p.m. local time and will go until 6 p.m. Floyd’s family will gather for a private funeral at the church on Tuesday.

A public viewing took place Saturday, as well, with hundreds turning up to pay their respects to Floyd in North Carolina, where he was born.

Floyd’s death has sparked widespread protests calling for an end to police brutality.

The protests are the broadest in U.S. history and are spreading to white, small-town America, according to preliminary data from The Washington Post.

Four former officers have been charged in Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he called out “I can’t breathe,” has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. At his first court appearance on Monday, a judge ordered Chauvin be held on a $1.25 million bail. His next court appearance was set for June 29. He has not yet entered a plea.

Kiernan Lane, Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were seen either restraining Floyd or standing as he was being restrained, were all charged with second-degree aiding and abetting felony murder and second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter. Attorneys for two of the officers said the rookie cops tried to urge Chauvin to stop.

All four officers have been fired.

ABC News’ Molly Nagle, Alex Perez and John Verhovek contributed to this report.

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