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Mayor Ted Wheeler statement regarding the death of George Floyd

Press release

Blue banner that reads Mayor Ted Wheeler, City of Portland, press release.

Members of the media,

Please see a statement below from Mayor Ted Wheeler regarding the death of George Floyd.

“I stand in solidarity with those who grieve for the senseless death of George Floyd. I have spent time this week reflecting on and mourning the murder of Mr. Floyd and what we continue to witness around this nation. George Floyd’s murder has weighed heavily on my thoughts. So has the death of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Atatiana Jefferson. A disproportionate amount of our black friends and neighbors are systemically killed over and over again. Racism has been a long-festering wound eating away at our collective humanity. Anti-black racism is what compelled an officer to suffocate an unarmed black man, ignoring him while he pleaded for his life, saying he couldn’t breathe, and then crying out for his mother as he suffered.

We are in a moral crisis. It will take a moral movement to reset the compass back toward justice. We need a moral movement that will include people from all walks of life standing together and demanding change. This cannot rest on the shoulders of the black community alone. I stand with those asking leadership everywhere to help us heal the soul of America by standing up against and changing immoral and inhumane policies that bring violence against the poor and vulnerable in our communities.

These policies have impacted communities of color and specifically black communities for too long. We cannot be silent when injustices are done in our community that impact specific populations. We know our own history in our community.

I know we have more work to do to be the beloved community I know we can be. It is going to take all of us working and standing together. This is not the time to point fingers or tear each other down, but rather to work toward healing our communities that have had to live through systemic racism and losing their daughters and sons too early. 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 frontlines. As white people, as people of color, all of us together.

The Black community has had to endure devastation to their families for far too long. This is not an isolated case, and it happens all too often nationally. Mr. Floyd is another serious case that challenges the soul of our nation. There are many more names that we know of in recent history, but there are many more names and families impacted that we do not know of, or will ever hear about. Enough is Enough. Portland, let’s move forward together, and not one step back. We will rise through this stronger together.”

Mayor Ted Wheeler