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Memorial in honor of George Floyd held in Harlem, 3 years to the day he was killed in police custody in Minneapolis

Push for change continues 3 years after George Floyd's death
Push for change continues 3 years after George Floyd's death 02:32

NEW YORK -- Thursday marked three years since George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.

A memorial honoring his life was held by his family in the evening outside the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem.

While many were celebrating Floyd's life, they were also still pushing for change in the criminal justice system.

READ MORE3 years after George Floyd's murder, President Biden urges Congress "to enact meaningful police reform"

Dozens gathered outside of City Hall in Lower Manhattan earlier in the day, three years to the day Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed while in police custody in Minnesota.

His death sparked nationwide protests calling for social justice and an end to police brutality.

"The world was enraged ... marches and protests all over the world, calling for justice," said Lee Gill of the Campaign for an Elected Civilian Review Board.

READ MOREFormer Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, who held back bystanders during George Floyd's killing, convicted of manslaughter

Councilwoman Kristin Richardson-Jordan co-sponsored the Community Power Act last year. Advocates say they want to see it become law.

"It's just about getting an elected community review board so that our police can be held accountable. Honestly, the police won't police themselves," said Jazz Reed, director of communications for Councilwoman Richardson-Jordan.

"It replaces the CCRB with an elected board of New Yorkers, with the power to investigate and fire police who commit misconduct," Gill said.

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A coalition of civil rights groups, including the National Action Network, also announced a new initiative where they will be tracking what corporate companies have followed through on their promises of diversity, equity and inclusion in the aftermath of Floyd's death.

"George Floyd is just one of the examples of the many acts of injustice that we have seen from police brutality. Just because it wasn't in New York City, doesn't mean that we don't stand by them," Richardson-Jordan said.

Memorial in honor of George Floyd held in Harlem 02:43

In the meantime, Terrence Floyd is remembering his brother, and honoring him with the memorial service at Convent Avenue Baptist Church.

"Three years now, it still bothers me, but each year I try to do something to make it better, make the community better, make the culture better," Terrence Floyd said.

"I want people to remember he had a purpose in life. He wanted to love," he added.

He said he will always remember the advice his brother gave him.

"I was reading some text messages from him last night. He was telling me, 'Don't hold your head down. We don't do head hanging here. We get up. Things happen. Pull up our pants do what we have to do keep moving. We strong. Floyd strong,'" Terrence Floyd said.

He said there was a sense of justice when Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for the killing of George Floyd, but added there's a need for continued change and more training.

"It's the third year and not only are we remembering my brother, we're remembering Tyre Nichols, Jordan Neely. We're remembering all these people that died a senseless death," Terrence Floyd said.

Concerned Harlem resident Sandy Alexis said she felt it was important to bring her 7-year-old son, Storm, and 1-year-old daughter, Sword Lily, to Thursday night's memorial.

"The violence is traumatic, especially when you have young Black man. It's like seeing their future and that's never the future you want for your kid," Alexis said.

"When my son grows up he has a chance of being a George Floyd. He has a chance of being an Eric Garner. He has a chance of being a Trayvon Martin," another woman said.

There were a number of events honoring Floyd on Thursday, including one at City Hall and another at Washington Square Park.

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