DALLAS – Calling the death of George Floyd a “horrific act of police brutality,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke Tuesday about large protests in response to Floyd’s killing and took a hard stance against the violence that has wreaked havoc in some cities across the state.
Abbott said Floyd’s death has touched every corner of the country and people are rightfully angry.
He said what occurred in Minneapolis should have never happened and he wanted to make sure it “will never happen in Texas.”
In response to the peaceful protests, Abbott said “every person has every right to make their voices heard.”
However, the governor said some criminals have hijacked those protests.
“Violence and vandalism is never the answer,” Abbott said. “(They) overshadow the death of Floyd instead of shining a light on the injustice.”
Abbott said Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers and members of the National Guard have been deployed across the state to quell the violence and destruction.
Abbott said the U.S. military would not come into Texas and state law enforcement would handle any situation that arises.
The state is also working with local law enforcement leaders to maintain order and uphold public safety for protesters.
Abbott stated that some of the violence is being done by people who have crossed state lines and are not Texas residents.
State officials will work with national law enforcement agencies to federally prosecute those individuals.
DPS Chief Steve McCraw said special agents have been embedded to identify to arrest these individuals creating chaos.
Abbott cited Texas’s record and recent laws to help justice and equality across the state.
He thanked law enforcement officers across the state and said Texas would “seize this moment to bridge divide in the state.”