The body of George Floyd arrived at the cemetery in Pearland, Texas, where he will be buried next to his mother — whose name was among the last words he was heard saying.
Floyd is the African American man whose death while in the custody of Minneapolis police two weeks ago lit the fuse of protests against racism around the world.
Hundreds endured the legendary Texas sun and heat to line the streets and watch a horse-drawn carriage bring Floyd’s gold casket from his funeral service at the Fountain of Praise Church to his final resting place.
More than 500 people — family, friends and some who never knew him— filled the church pews Tuesday.
They included actors Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, Houston Texans football star J.J. Watt, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
The crowd jumped up and cheered when Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced he would sign an executive order banning chokeholds by police.
Democratic Congressman Al Green declared “George Floyd was not expendable.”
“This is why we’re here. His crime was that he was born black. That was his only crime. George Floyd deserved the dignity and respect that we accord all people just because they are children of a common God,” Green said.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who met with Floyd’s family Monday, taped a eulogy played at the funeral.
"No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations: Why? Now is the time for racial justice. That is the answer we must give to our children when they ask why,” Biden said.
Award-winning singer Ne-Yo performed, saying Floyd “changed the world.”
And as in many funerals, there were some light moments. Floyd’s aunt, Kathleen McGee, chuckled as she remembered Floyd as a child, recalling him to be a “pesky little rascal, but we loved him.”
Floyd died May 25 after Minneapolis police arrested him on suspicion of spending a counterfeit $20 bill in a food store.
A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and cried out for his mother.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder. Three other offices who were on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting.
Floyd’s death set off protests across the United States and in several major European cities against racism and perceived police brutality against blacks.
Many of those marches turned violent, prompting governors to deploy the National Guard to restore order. An Associated Press count says about 10,000 people have been arrested. But protests have been generally peaceful since early this week.
There are also calls across the country for cities to defund police departments. The Minneapolis city council overwhelmingly backs such a plan in the face of opposition by Mayor Jacob Frey.
Along with Houston’s Mayor Turner, other state and city leaders have banned police chokeholds, including California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Denver police chief.
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee says he wants to make it mandatory for police officers to report bad behavior by other officers and not just stand by while an atrocity may be committed.
WATCH: Floyd funeral service