The death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed Monday in Minneapolis police custody, was “horrific,” Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday.
Abbott, speaking during an interview with KPRC, didn’t comment on the protests that have rocked Minneapolis following Floyd’s death. Over the last several days, protesters have expressed outrage after Floyd was filmed crying out for help as a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck.
“It should not have happened,” Abbott said of Floyd’s death. “Obviously, from everything I have seen, this is a consequence of poor police work.”
The governor also said he hopes people understand “that poor police work done by one individual — it may be the entire team — should not be reflective of the professionalism that so many of our law enforcement officers across the state and across America try to use every single day.”
Abbott is not the only Texan to condemn Floyd’s death today. In a tweet thread, outgoing U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, the only black Republican in the U.S. House, wrote, “The video evidence in George Floyd’s case should be enough for the Hennepin County Attorney to make arrests TODAY, so this police officer can be prosecuted for murder.”
The Texas Legislative Black Caucus echoed a similar sentiment. “The police killing of Mr. George Floyd has to be the light which brings an end to the darkness of the atrocities committed by police officers against Black people. If not, separation may be the only remaining light for black people.”
The white officer, Derek Chauvin, seen in the now-viral video footage kneeling on Floyd's neck, was taken into custody Friday afternoon.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee asked the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate Floyd’s death along with the recent killings of two other black people: Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old who was was shot by white residents in Georgia and Breonna Taylor, an EMT shot eight times in March during a “no-knock” raid of her apartment.
The condemnation of Floyd’s death from Texas officials comes shortly after Trump railed against Twitter after the social media company added a warning label to a tweet he posted Thursday night implying that looting demonstrators in Minneapolis could be shot. Protests have raged there over Floyd’s death, with more gatherings expected in Texas over the weekend.
“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City,” the president wrote, adding that Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, must “get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.” Trump also called the Minneapolis protesters “thugs.”