Gov. Abbott Declares State of Disaster, as Statewide Protests Continue, With Nearly 100 Arrested in Dallas

NewsRadio 1080 KRLD
May 31, 2020 - 12:19 pm

    DALLAS (KRLD) - Protests are continuing across the country over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A report on Twitter today indicates a protest is planned at the Dallas Omni Hotel on Sunday.

    Dallas police made around 100 arrests Saturday, as protesters blocked traffic, knocked windows out of businesses, and looted some stores and supermarkets.

    "We love this community and we trust this community," Dallas police chief Renee Hall said before the protests. "We work together to build a stronger Dallas, a stronger Texas, a stronger United States of America. But it doesn't happen by tearing up and hurting people."

    Of the arrests made Saturday, 36 were near City Hall of people who did not disperse after police instructions. 27 were arrested on McKinney Avenue where a Whole Foods Market was looted. Fifteen people were arrested near a building that was vandalized at Field and Woodall Rogers. Other arrests were made in Uptown where police had to set a perimeter around the American Airlines Center. Stores in Uptown, including a Tom Thumb, were vandalized.

    Other arrested happened after people blocked traffic.   Video shows protesters throwing a white substance on a van that was stopped because of the people on the roadway. 

    There is one reported injury. A man described as a business owner allegedly got into a confrontation with protestors when witnesses say he tried to protect his property with a sword. He was reportedly hit with skateboards and was taken to the hospital. Police tell NBC 5 they are investigating the case and charges may follow.

    In Fort Worth, protests were reported to be peaceful and without incident.

    As a result of protests in Dallas and across the state Texas, Governor Greg Abbott declared a State of Disaster for all Texas counties on Sunday. Under this declaration, Abbott 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 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. 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."