After a summer of unrest, Texas police are preparing for possible election night protests

During a contentious campaign season, Texas police are gearing up for possible unrest on election night. Credit: Joel Angel Juarez for The Texas Tribune

After thousands took to the streets this summer to protest police brutality and racial injustice, galvanized by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, some Texas law enforcement agencies faced stiff criticism for their responses.

Allegations of excessive force prompted some jurisdictions to slash police budgets and others to adopt a series of reforms, from prohibiting the use of certain “less-lethal” weapons to requiring officers to intervene when they see another use extreme measures.

Now, with a contentious election just a month away and with a nation bitterly divided, police are again preparing for protests across the state. Agencies in at least four major cities — Austin, El Paso, San Antonio and Fort Worth — confirmed they are planning for potential unrest around the Nov. 3 election. Officials in other Texas cities declined to say whether they’re doing the same.