Houston holds six-hour public viewing of George Floyd’s coffin

Mourners are paying their respects to George Floyd’s coffin in his home town of Houston in Texas, the final stop of a series of memorials in his honour.

A six-hour viewing is being held at the Fountain of Praise church in south-west Houston.

The viewing is open to the public but visitors are required to wear a mask and gloves to comply with coronavirus guidelines.

Mr Floyd’s funeral will be on Tuesday, followed by burial at Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in suburban Pearland, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother, Larcenia Floyd.

He died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped responding.

His death has inspired international protests and drawn new attention to the treatment of African Americans by police and the criminal justice system in the US.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plans to travel to Houston to meet Mr Floyd’s family and will provide a video message for the funeral service.

A Biden aide on Sunday described the plans of the former vice president, but they did not include attending the service.

Previous memorials have taken place in Minneapolis and Raeford, North Carolina, near where Mr Floyd was born.

At the Minneapolis tribute on Thursday, those in attendance stood in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time prosecutors say Mr Floyd was pinned to the ground under the officer’s knee before he died.

George Floyd’s coffin is carried to a hearse in Minneapolis Credit: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Mr Floyd was raised in Houston’s Third Ward and was a well-known former high school American football player who rapped with local musician DJ Screw. He moved to Minneapolis several years ago to seek work and a fresh start.

His face now appears on a mural in his old neighbourhood, and his name was chanted by tens of thousands last week at a protest and march in central Houston.

Mourners are able to view the casket of George Floyd in his home city. Credit: AP