Bay Area faith community holds vigil near anniversary of George Floyd's death

ByCornell W. Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Hundreds attend Bay Area vigil ahead of George Floyd anniversary
More than a dozen churches around the Bay Area honored the memory of George Floyd Saturday, just days before the anniversary of his death.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- More than a dozen churches around the Bay Area honored the memory of George Floyd Saturday.

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of his death in Minneapolis.

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A prayer vigil was held on the Peninsula for Floyd and other victims of violence. A former NBA star showed up to offer his thoughts and prayers.

Faith leaders spoke and prayed outside Palo Alto City Hall, in Memory of George Floyd.

"We are here to remember him and pray for God to be at work against racial injustice in this country," said Pastor Susan Van Riesen from Palo Alto Vineyard Church.

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"More justice, more peace. A unified goal we should try to reach," said Jacob Virges from St. Mark AME Zion Church.

Several hundred people showed for this memorial vigil, including former NBA player and Bay Area native Jeremy Lin, who offered this prayer.

"Give your peace today to African American families, fallen by police brutality and racial injustice," said Lin.

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George Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd repeatedly said he couldn't breathe. Chauvin was found guilty of murder, and is awaiting sentencing.

"I'm grateful for the verdict, but we still lost a father, an American, we're here to remind each other about that," said East Palo Alto City Councilmember Antonio Lopez.

Others say they came to this vigil, outraged over hate and violence against asian community.

"Racial justice is for my parents, elders and of course our children," said Sandy Chen from Los Altos.

Many say stopping hate and racial injustice sounds impossible, but some faith leaders believe they have a starting point.

"Having cross-cultural relationships, getting to know people from different backgrounds, opening up our hearts to one another, these are part of the solution," said pastor Van Riesen.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the investigation into George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and protests across the U.S.