Texas Gov. Abbott Declares State of Disaster Amid Floyd Protests

Henrietta Brewer
June 1, 2020

Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday placed Texas under a state of disaster in response to George Floyd protests in Dallas and other cities in the state.

"Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights", said Abbott in a news release.

In the governor's declaration, attached below, Abbott certified that the "threats and incidents of violence constitute and pose an imminent threat of disaster".

Gregg Abbott this afternoon issued a state of disaster declaration following the protests around the state which turned violent and are endangering the public and threatening property loss, according to the governor.

Demonstrations have amplified since then, with fires, looting and other forms of property damage resulting from rallies that escalated over the weekend.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has also dispatched more than 1,500 officers to help besieged local police departments deal with the demonstrations, the Tribune said.

Thousands of protesters marched in Texas cities on Friday and Saturday, outraged after Floyd was filmed crying out for help as a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck.

As of Sunday morning, roughly 5,000 members of the U.S. National Guard were directed to assist public safety in 15 states and Washington, D.C., the organization announced in a statement. In several of the state's large metropolitan areas - including Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio - protesters clashed with police who sometimes used rubber bullets and tear gas.

The Governor and DPS officials have spoken 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 in those cities.

Floyd died last week while in Minneapolis police custody.

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