Family of George Floyd rallies support for police reform bills at Texas Capitol Saturday

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Family members of George Floyd spoke in favor of police reform bills to be heard in the Texas legislature this week at a rally at the Texas Capitol on Saturday.

George Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, along with George Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, and her mother, Roxanne Washington attend a rally for the George Floyd Act in Austin. (KXAN Photo: Tim Holcomb)

His sister, Bridgett Floyd, along with George Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, and her mother, Roxanne Washington were at the downtown Austin rally. They spoke about Floyd’s death, social injustice and called for change.

“We go through a lot of pain, we go through a lot of grief every single day,” said Bridgett. “Nobody knows what my niece go through not having her father anymore.”

Their remarks were part of an event held by the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.

“That officer didn’t know that he had a daughter that he didn’t go home to, he would never see again,” she said.

The Call to Action Slab Ride — which drew dozens — was to rally support for bills related to the George Floyd Act. Drivers made three laps around the capitol and were also joined by members of the NAACP.

“George Floyd is from here, he’s from Texas,” said Dr. Candice Mathews, the statewide Harris County Chapter Accountability Chair of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats. “We need that bill to be passed here in Texas.”

The four bills, which are all authored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, will be heard in House Committees this week.

  • HB 834: Relating to requiring the corroboration of certain testimony in a criminal case involving a controlled substance.
  • HB 829: Relating to a progressive disciplinary matrix for police officer misconduct in certain municipalities.
  • HB 832: Relating to the duties and powers of peace officers.
  • HB 833: Relating to the use of force to make an arrest or search and to law enforcement policies regarding de-escalation and proportionate response.

HB 88 would have banned chokeholds by police officers, ended arrests on Class C misdemeanors that typically are fine-only and non-jailable, created a duty to intervene, render aid and identify while eliminating a duty to arrest on minor charges and removed qualified immunity. That bill was left pending in committee.

The trial for former officer Derek Chauvin is expected to continue Monday.

A veteran Minneapolis police officer was included in Friday’s testimony. He’s the homicide detective who was assigned to the case after Floyd’s death.

Lt. Richard Zimmerman told jurors that in his 35-plus years as an officer, he has never been trained to put his knee across a suspect’s neck, especially if that person is handcuffed and in a specific position.

On cross examination, the defense challenged Zimmerman, pointing out that he is not a trainer for the department.

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