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Peaceful Portland gathering honors George Floyd, demands change

A peaceful demonstration concluded in downtown Portland Friday afternoon.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Demonstrators gathered late Friday morning to honor George Floyd, while also demanding change following his death while in a Minneapolis police officer's custody. 

The peaceful gathering, organized by the NAACP was called "A Eulogy from Black America."

"To be black in America means to fight harder for what other communities take for granted," said NAACP President Rev. E.D. Mondaine.

"Over and over and over again black people have been killed and there has been silence," said city commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. "Black people are tired. black people are exhausted by racism." 

"The outrage only lasts as long as the video is distributed. By next week people will be back to their lives and black lives will still be in danger," Hardesty said.

Watch the demonstration:

On Friday, authorities announced that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested in connection with Floyd's death. Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder, but authorities are continuing to review evidence and there may be further charges later.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin charged with 3rd degree murder, manslaughter in death of George Floyd

Reaction from Portland officials

In a joint statement, Portland metro area law enforcement agencies condemned the actions of Chauvin and what happened to Floyd.

"The incident in Minneapolis does not reflect our value of the sanctity of life or the code of ethics we have sworn to uphold. It is disheartening when the actions of so few tarnish the noble profession that we have dedicated our lives to," the statement read, in part. It was co-signed by the Portland Police Bureau, Port of Portland Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Tualatin Police Department, Tigard Police Department, Sherwood Police Department and Forest Grove Police Department.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said the country is in a "moral crisis" and needs to come together to put an end to systemic racism. 

"We have to do better. We have to be willing to stand alongside our black community and not just call out racism when we see it, but meaningfully take a stand against it. We have to be willing to interrogate our own biases and the ways in which we have been complicit in the structuring of a society that makes black death routine. We all need to be on the front lines. As white people, as people of color, all of us together," Wheeler said.

RELATED: Minneapolis police station burns as protests continue following George Floyd's death

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