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Watching the George Floyd Memorial Service : Two perspectives

Utica Common Council member Delvin Moody and Utica Police Chief Mark Williams both talk about the emotions of watching the memorial service for George Floyd.

Posted: Jun 4, 2020 6:31 PM

Utica, N.Y. - People around the country and even the world paused Thursday afternoon to take in the first of a number of memorial services for George Floyd, the man who died in Minneapolis 10 days ago while in police custody.

Thursday's service resonated around the world, including in many homes and offices here in Utica.

Among those, the home of 5th Ward Utica Common Council Member Delvin Moody, and the office of Utica Police Chief Mark Williams.

Moody says he is irate at the treatment of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, as he died after being held down 8 minutes and 46 seconds with a knee to his neck while three other officers stood watching, but Moody says today is about remembering the man, "This is a human being, it’s not just a name or a hashtag but that it is a person, it is a loved one, it is someone’s son, brother, cousin and I think of all of the protests, I think that’s what was missed, that this was a human being, there’s a family, it’s not just a political issue."

Chief Williams echoed those statements and believes George Floyd's death will not be in vain, "I was encouraged to see the speakers talk about, we have to come together as one, as a nation to do better. I hope that it resonates with everybody."

Moody says he has seen a number of cases of racial injustice at the hands of police across America, but he says this time, he believes change is coming, "It feels different in so many ways because you have that solidarity with police officers, you have that solidarity with white and black and so many others so it’s an important moment and I’m optimistic that we will be able to make comprehensive changes."

Chief Mark Williams says he stands with everyone who is outraged at the video of George Floyd and says he would have been at Sunday's march and protest in Utica walking alongside his deputy chief and another officer, but says he had a death in the family, "As it was I kind of felt guilty for the fact that I had personal obligations but I felt there was a need to be there."

George Floyd was 46 years old.

He grew up in Houston where a public viewing is set for Monday and a private funeral service will be held on Tuesday.

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