Texas Governor Greg Abbott believes Austin police should be praised, not prosecuted, for actions during the 2020 George Floyd protests. The governor says the officers defended APD headquarters from being overrun and stopped criminal activity across the city despite being attacked. He also criticized the Austin government for cutting law enforcement funding last year saying it led to record murders.
Almost 20 officers are expected to be indicted on excessive force charges in connection with the 2020 protests. Abbott intimated he might step in to exonerate any police officer who was "unjustly prosecuted" while noting he was waiting to see if the charges were a "political sham."
"Last year, Austin set an all-time record for the number of murders. It comes as no surprise that murders increased after Austin decreased funding for law enforcement. In Texas, we do not defund and denigrate our law enforcement officers. Instead we support them for risking their own lives and safety to protect our communities from people who endanger and attack our communities. In 2020, Texas experienced violent protests that wreaked havoc on our cities," said Governor Abbott. "In Austin, law enforcement officers defended the state Capitol from criminal assault, protected the Austin Police Department headquarters from being overrun, cleared the interstate from being shut down, and disrupted criminal activity in areas across the city. Many officers were physically attacked while protecting Austin. Those officers should be praised for their efforts, not prosecuted. Time will tell whether the accusations against the courageous Austin police officers is a political sham. Time will also tell whether I, as Governor, must take action to exonerate any police officer unjustly prosecuted."