"I have watched my friends be slaughtered by the police, I have watched people be murdered in front of me."

By Nick Romano
June 10, 2020 at 10:18 AM EDT
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Tiffany Haddish likes to think of herself as "an administrator of joy," as she told Seth Meyers on Late Night this week. But in sharing her experience attending George Floyd's funeral, she offered a powerful, poignant reflection on her own experiences witnessing the effects of racism and police brutality.

The Girls Trip and Like a Boss star told Meyers she was invited as a guest to a memorial for Floyd in Minneapolis last week, which was also attended by Kevin Hart, Rev. Al Sharpton, T.I., and Ludacris. Haddish wanted to be there because she knows how the family felt in that moment. "The main thing that made me really want to be there is I have watched my friends be slaughtered by the police," she said. "I have watched people be murdered in front of me as a 13-year-old, 14-year-old girl and there was nothing I could do except, 'No, don't do that!' yelling out."

"Being there was like being there for all my friends whose funerals I already went to," she added, "all my friends who passed away, all the people that I went to school with who passed away or were locked up for no reason just 'cause they can't afford a good lawyer or accused of things that they didn't do. Being there was so powerful 'cause I did not know it was going to be televised... That was my first time walking into a funeral that was televised and a funeral of someone who was killed by a police officer."

Floyd died at the age of 46 after a Minneapolis police officer, who has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. A funeral for Floyd was held Tuesday in Houston, where notable attendees included Sharpton, Jamie Foxx, Ne-Yo, Channing Tatum, and NFL players J.J. Watt and D.J. Reader. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who met with Floyd's family Monday, was unable to attend but recorded a video message for the service.

"The eulogies that were given were so powerful, it was a great message," Haddish said. "And I cried so much. I was crying so much. There were tears of not just for Floyd but for all of those people who passed away, all of my friends, and my family members who are locked up. All the tears I ever wanted to cry were coming out."

To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
  • Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
  • Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.

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