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Gov. Abbott declares state of disaster following violent protests

Gov. Greg Abbott is authorizing federal agents to act as Texas Peace Officers.

TEXAS, USA —

Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster for all Texas counties amid the violent protests in response to George Floyd's death. 

The governor said he is authorizing federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers to help protect people's safety while ensuring that peaceful protesters can continue to march and let their voices be heard. 

"Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights," said Governor Abbott. "However, violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive. As protests have turned violent in various areas across the state, it is crucial that we maintain order, uphold public safety, and protect against property damage or loss."

Large protests have been happening in several cities in Texas, including Houston, Dallas and Austin. While some protests have been peaceful, others have turned violent leading to several businesses being damaged and hundreds of people arrested.  

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Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 when an officer was seen on video kneeling on his neck for nearly 11 minutes in an attempt to detain him for what police called a non-violent forgery. 

Derek Chauvin was identified as the officer seen on video with his knee on Floyd's neck while Floyd was pleading, "I can't breathe." 

Chauvin and three other officers were fired following his death, but protesters took the street of Minneapolis to demand the officers be charged.

It was until four days later that Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers who were on scene have not been charged. 

The news of Chauvin's arrest did not stop thousands of protesters from continuing to gather in cities like New York, Chicago and Atlanta to demand justice for Floyd and speak out about police brutality.

Many of the protests around the country have led to the looting of businesses and more violence between citizens and police officers.