Abbott declares State of Disaster; authorizes federal authorities to act as Texas peace officers

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott this afternoon issued a State of Disaster Declaration following the violent protests that are occurring around the state that are endangering the public and threatening property loss.

This declaration authorizes federal authorities to act 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 Abbott in a press release. “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.”

On Saturday, Abbott called up more than 1,500 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to help control protests over the death of Houston native George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. He also activated the National Guard.