The horrific and public death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has spurred protests all across the globe, some of which ended in violence.
The rage, sadness, and disgust with ongoing events didn’t fail to reach our own area with more than 80 demonstrators gathering in Longview to peaceably protest the ongoing struggle within the African American community. Members of all races gathered with signs and shouts of “No Justice, No Peace” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
“Texas and America mourn the senseless loss of George Floyd and the actions that led to his death are reprehensible and should be condemned in the strongest terms possible,” said Governor Abbott. “As Texans exercise their First Amendment rights, it is imperative that order is maintained and private property is protected.”
To ensure peaceful protests, Gov. Abbott sent state resources to the cities of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin to help maintain public safety.
Abbott and DPS officials spoke with Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, as well as law enforcement officials from each of the named cities.
DPS sent more than 1,500 officers to assist local police departments.
Governor Greg Abbott later surged substantial statewide resources to cities throughout Texas in response to escalating protest violence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also deployed tactical teams to assist state and local law enforcement. The Governor has ordered thousands more state troopers to these cities and more than one thousand National Guard to assist the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and local law enforcement in their efforts.
These efforts are in addition to the Governor’s actions yesterday when he deployed DPS troopers to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin and activated the Texas National Guard.
“Texans First Amendment rights are absolute and will always be protected,” said Governor Abbott. “But violence, vandalism, and looting will not be tolerated in this state and those found in violation of the law will be arrested and prosecuted.”