DALLAS - The governor of Texas met with leaders and law enforcement from both Dallas and Fort Worth Tuesday to talk about civil unrest in the area following the death of George Floyd.
“Let’s be clear. What happened to George Floyd is a horrific act of police brutality. It should never have happened, and we should ensure that it never happens here in Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. "I join the millions of Americans who seek swift justice in this case."
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Abbott said people are rightfully angry. But he believes the violence and vandalism that has taken place in areas like Downtown Dallas over the weekend is drowning out the voice of those trying to shine a light on the injustice of Floyd’s death by a Minneapolis police officer.
The governor announced he has deployed thousands of National Guard members and state troopers to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to prevent more vandalism and looting happening alongside peaceful protests. He promised not to be soft on those committing crimes.
“What I have seen as governor is that Texans can overcome any challenge. We can put an end to the violence that is gripping our cities. We can remedy the injustices that have plagued African American and other minority communities in Texas. And we will seize this moment to bridge the divide that exists in our state,” he said. “We will not be asking the U.S. military to come into the state of Texas because Texans can take care of Texans.”
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said many of the criminal acts were committed by people who don’t live in Dallas but came into the city to cause trouble.
“A majority of the people that are protesting are doing it because they're sickened for the murder of George Floyd,” added Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw. “Those that engage in crime, we are talking about violent extremists. There's anarchists, there's Antifa. There’s also criminals that are using this as an opportunity to exploiting, to loot and hurt others.”
McCraw said he has undercover agents embedded within the protests all over Texas gathering information and identifying the criminals disguised as protesters.
McCraw also called the killing of Floyd murder.
“There is not a police officer in Texas who is not sickened by the murder of George Floyd,” he said. “Public entrusts with so much power it is to protect, not to harm. He was harmed. He was murdered.”
Both Mayor Johnson and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price thanked the governor for the resources so that peaceful protesters can have their voices heard.
The Dallas mayor has called for a special city council meeting Friday to discuss the events of the past week and what the city can do better.