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Governor Abbott declares State of Disaster following statewide protests

Gov. Greg Abbott pardons Central Texan
Posted at 12:18 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 13:26:53-04

AUSTIN, TX — Governor Greg Abbott today declared a State of Disaster for all Texas counties in the midst of "violent protests that endanger public safety and threaten property loss and damage."

Under this declaration, the Governor has the ability to designate federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers.

"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. By authorizing additional federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers we will help protect people’s safety while ensuring that peaceful protesters can continue to make their voices heard."

Gov. Abbott activated the Texas National Guard in response to protests yesterday.