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Demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd continue in downtown Phoenix

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Phoenix despite a forecast high of 110 and an excessive heat warning.

PHOENIX — A wave of demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd and police brutality continued in Arizona for an eighth day Thursday afternoon.

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Phoenix despite a forecast high of 110 and an excessive heat warning.

Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked nationwide protests that have, at times, been marred by looting and riots, but the demonstrations across Phoenix have remained peaceful since Monday with no arrests being made.

A statewide curfew beginning at 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. remains in effect until Monday, and the protest largely ended before that time.

Marchers have also cited the shooting death of Dion Johnson by a DPS trooper as an example of police brutality, but details of the incident remain scarce. 

Johnson’s family released what they say is a dispatcher recording of the shooting Wednesday night and decried the response from first responders.

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Meanwhile, a funeral service for Floyd took place in Minneapolis where Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy as the nation grapples with painful conversations of race relations.

"George Floyd should not be among the deceased," Sharpton said. "He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction.

“He died because there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught this country that if you commit a crime it does not matter whether you wear blue jeans or a blue uniform, you must pay for the crime you commit."

Derek Chauvin, the now-fired officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he pled for air, was handed a more serious second-degree murder charge on Wednesday and the three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

During a press conference on Thursday relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey also addressed state efforts for change including a special session to discuss officer-worn body cameras and outreach with African American community leaders.

Organizers of the demonstration say they'll continue to hold protests and are planning to expand to other cities besides Phoenix.

The video below is coverage of Wednesday night's demonstration.

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