DALLAS (KXAN) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, joined by city and state leaders, denounced the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and pledged to federally prosecute instigators of violence and vandalism from protests around the state.
“What happened to George Floyd is a horrific act of police brutality. It should’ve never happened. We have to make sure it never happens in Texas,” Gov. Abbott said in a Tuesday news conference from Dallas. “George Floyd’s death has touched every corner of our country.”
While supporting the right to protest and assemble, Gov. Abbott demanded the looting and vandalism during demonstrations in Texas stop, saying “it is essential that we end the violence.”
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson says most instances of alleged crimes during protests in Dallas were done by people from outside of the city. Gov. Abbott says those potential offenders will be federally prosecuted and an investigation is already underway.
“There’s not a police officer in Texas that isn’t sickened by the murder of George Floyd.” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw said.
During the weekend of unrest in most major Texas cities, Gov. Abbott declared a state of disaster, deploying additional officers and Texas State troopers to Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
Gov. Abbott says Texas lawmakers will be proactive on crafting new legislation related to police brutality, saying the work starts now before session begins in January 2021.
“What I have seen as governor is that Texans can overcome any challenge. We will seize this moment to bridge the divide that exists in our state, so that we can and will keep Texas the greatest state in the United States of America,” Gov. Abbott said.
Gov. Abbott says Texas will not use U.S. military resources in response to state protests.
Gov. Abbott was joined by Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Dallas Police Chief Renee’ Hall and Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus.