“The absence of justice is the absence of peace,” Mr Sharpton said. “You can’t tell us to shut up and suffer. We must speak up when there is an injustice.”
Earlier Rev Sharpton said that the fight for justice didn’t end with the guilty verdicts for former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin.
“We should not think that, because we won one battle with Chauvin, the war is over,” he said, “or that if we do not get justice for this case, that we will undo what we were able to do with George Floyd. This is round two, and we must win this round.”
At Floyd’s Minneapolis funeral last year, Rev Sharpton put Floyd’s death in the context of brutality long felt by Blacks in America, saying: “The reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to be is you kept your knee on our neck.”
“What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country,” Rev Sharpton said back then. “It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say, ‘Get your knee off our neck!'”
Among those attending Mr Wright’s funeral were Valerie Castile, whose son Philando Castile died after being shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb in 2016, and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was filmed saying “I can’t breathe” in a fatal 2014 encounter with New York City police. US Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also were in attendance.
More than a dozen members from an armed team of local men, the Minnesota Freedom Fighters, many with rifles, sidearms and wearing body armour, provided security.
Mr Wright’s killing set off protests in Brooklyn Center, a working-class, majority nonwhite city, with hundreds of people gathering every night for a week outside the city’s heavily guarded police station. While the mayor called for law enforcement and protesters to scale back their tactics, the nights often ended with demonstrators lobbing water bottles and rocks at the officers, and law enforcement responding with pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets.
The city’s police chief said it appeared from body camera video that the officer who shot Wright used her pistol when she meant to use her Taser. The white officer, 26-year veteran Kim Potter, is charged with second-degree manslaughter. Both she and the chief resigned soon after the shooting.
Mr Wright’s killing came amid increasing tension during the weekslong trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer who killed Mr Floyd last May. By the day of the verdict, more than 3000 National Guard soldiers had flooded the area, along with police, state troopers and other law enforcement officers. Concrete barriers, chain-link fences and barbed wire ringed the courthouse where Chauvin was tried.
Minneapolis residents who peacefully celebrated Tuesday’s guilty verdicts had barely one full day before attention turned to burying Wright.
At a viewing for Mr Wright on Wednesday, friends and family members wept as they stood before Wright’s open casket, which was blanketed with red roses. Inside the open casket, the young man was dressed in a jean jacket bedazzled with several red and green gem-like buttons on the lapels.
An obituary handed out at the memorial recalled Wright’s love of Fourth of July fireworks, the “lemon head” nickname bestowed by an aunt and the months he spent in a hospital intensive care unit when his son was born prematurely.
Mr Wright was pulled over on a Sunday afternoon. His mother said he called her to say he was stopped for having air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror — a traffic violation in Minnesota. Police said he was stopped for having an expired car registration.
The shooting occurred when a scuffle broke out as police tried to arrest Mr Wright, after realising he had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of fleeing police and having a gun without a permit.