Mourners hold memorial for Floyd in hometown

A mourner is overcome with grief after viewing the body of George Floyd during his memorial service, Saturday, June 6, 2020, in Raeford, N.C. George Floyd’s death and the protests it ignited nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality have raised questions about whether Arradondo — or any chief — can fix a department that’s now facing a civil rights investigation. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

RAEFORD — Hundreds of mourners lined up Saturday to pay respects to George Floyd in his North Carolina hometown.

In Raeford, the small town near Fayetteville where Floyd was born 46 years ago, a long line of people formed outside a church, waiting to enter in small groups for a chance to look at his coffin. A private service was scheduled for later in the day.

The line of people waiting to view the coffin included families with young children and teenagers. One young woman wore a green and gold graduation cap and gown as she walked beside her parents. Most people wore surgical masks or cloth face coverings.

When a hearse bearing Floyd’s coffin arrived, chants of “Black Power,” “George Floyd” and “No justice, no peace,” echoed from beneath the covered entrance.

“It could have been me. It could have been my brother, my father, any of my friends who are black,” said a man in the crowd, Erik Carlos of Fayetteville. “It was a heavy hit, especially knowing that George Floyd was born near my hometown. It made me feel very vulnerable at first.”