- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday issued a statewide state of emergency declaration over ongoing protests over the death of Georgia Floyd.
- Abbott joined leaders in Georgia, Missouri, and Minnesota in declaring a statewide state of emergency.
- Floyd, 46, died while being subdued by Minneapolis police on May 25.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday declared a state of emergency in the state over ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd who died on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after being pinned by police officers during an arrest.
“Every Texas and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights,” Abbott said in a press release. “However, violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive”
There have been protests in cities across Texas, including in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, the Statesman reported. Protests around the country have erupted and at times turned violent, including property damage, looting, and vandalism. The protests followed the death of 46-year-old Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
According to the Dallas Morning News, some 90 people were arrested at protests that began Saturday night and lasted until early Sunday in Dallas. While the protests have typically started as peaceful demonstrations, they’ve escalated into chaos as they’ve gone on.
In declaring a state of emergency, Abbott said he was authorizing “additional federal agents” to serve as “Texas Peace Officers” in order to “help protect people’s safety while ensuring that peaceful protesters can continue to make their voices heard.”
Abbott had previously activated the Texas National Guard and deployed 1,500 Department of Public Safety troopers to cities in the state, according to the Statesman.
“This gives law enforcement an additional tool to prevent the lawlessness we’ve seen here and in cities nationwide,” Ducey said in a tweet. “Police will be equipped to make arrests of individuals who are planning to riot, loot or cause damage and unrest.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency in his state on Saturday, the day after he issued a localized state of emergency in Fulton County after violent protests erupted Thursday night in Atlanta. In doing so, Kept activated 3,000 members of the national guard, according to WSB.
The National Guard announced Sunday that approximately 5,000 troops have been activated to respond to unrest in 15 different states and Washington D.C.
Other states have declared emergencies in portions of the state where protests have occurred.
On Saturday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency over what he called actions of “civil unrest” during the protests, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota, where the protests began Tuesday the day after Floyd died, was first to declare a state of emergency on Thursday, NBC News reported.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgu, for example, on Saturday signed an executive order that declared a state of emergency specifically in Fargo, West Fargo, and Cass Counties due to the ongoing protests.
Ben Walsh, the mayor of Syracuse, New York, early Sunday likewise declared a state of emergency in his city over the ongoing protests.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom also on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County after continued demonstrations in LA.