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Governor promises action to family of George Floyd

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to institute police reforms when he met with the Houston family of George Floyd, who was handcuffed and killed by police in front of a Minneapolis convenience store on May 25. Video footage showed the 46-year-old Floyd subdued by four uniformed officers and pinned down on the pavement, one of them pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd lost consciousness and was later pronounced dead. Outrage over Floyd’s death and other police-involved deaths of African-Americans inspired protest marches in cities across Texas, the United States and around the world over the last three weeks. Abbott told reporters he met with the Floyd family in their home June 9 to assure them that George Floyd did not die in vain and that his life “would be the stimulant for reforms that will make Texas and the country a better place.” Abbott said there was no reason for a police officer to have his knee on Floyd’s neck, that there must be better strategies for police to use, and that reforms would be a priority in the 87th Texas Legislature. Reform work is ahead Texas House County Affairs Committee Chair Garnet Coleman and Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chair John Whitmire, both D-Houston, on June 9 announced they would continue to work together on criminal justice reform in the upcoming legislative session scheduled to convene in January. Whitmire, the most-senior member of the Texas Senate, and Coleman, who is the fifth-most-senior member of the Texas House, released a joint statement, saying: “The recent murder of longtime Houston resident George Floyd by a law enforcement officer in Minneapolis is a painful reminder to us that though we have traveled so far, there is still a long way to go. The passion shown by the millions of people who have made their voices heard against racism have helped fuel our commitment to continue to work towards justice.” Whitmire and Coleman Whitmire and Coleman said their goal is to “ensure equal treatment for people of color, increase transparency and accountability and keep both law enforcement and the public safer.” COVID measures increase Texas is increasing efforts to identify and expand COVID-19 testing operations in underserved and minority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. Gov. Abbott on June 8 Gov. Abbott on June 8 said the Texas Division of Emergency Management is coordinating with local governments, public health officials and emergency management entities to ...

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