Syracuse pastor reflects on George Floyd’s death one year later

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It was an image seen across the world. “I’ll never forget that,” said Bishop H. Bernard Alex, Pastor of Victory Temple Fellowship Church. Alex said the video of Derek Chauvin, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes will forever be ingrained in his mind.

“When I heard him gasping, then when he started calling out for his mother and beginning and saying, ‘I can’t breathe, don’t let me die like this,’ it was embolden, it was emblazoned in my mind,” he said.

Last month Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Officer was convicted of Floyd’s murder. Last summer Pastor Alex joined in marching across Syracuse for justice. Recalling the 40 days of marching he said, “It brought people together that ordinarily would not have come together.”

While the group marching was united, he said there were tense moments. “People were just doing some real, real mean and hateful things. I felt the tension in the air. That too, was part of what I knew my responsibility was with the younger people; so that they wouldn’t respond.”

He acknowledged some progress has been made concerning police reform. He said there’s still more work to do. It’s the reason behind the George Floyd Memorial March. “We are not satisfied maintaining the status quo,” he said. He wants to make sure the march and important conversations to continue to move forward.

The George Floyd Memorial March will begin promptly at 5 p.m. People will gather in the parking lot of Victory Temple Fellowship Church which is located at 817 E. Willow Street in Syracuse.

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