Governor Abbott declares State of Emergency following violent protests
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state-wide disaster Sunday following weekend protests that have turned violent and destructive.
In Texas, much of the demonstrating was peaceful, but the protests became violent Saturday with fires being lit, stores broken into and robbed and people hurt.
Police used tear gas to disperse some of the crowds and said they arrested more than 200 people between Dallas, Houston and Austin.
“Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights,” Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement.
“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.
The order allows Abbott to designate federal agents to do the work of local police. It comes as some Texas organizers are calling off demonstrations and others are planning to proceed.
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