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Statement from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on George Floyd and Protests in Harris County

Harris County, Texas – May 31, 2020 – County Lina Hidalgo today issued the following statement in response to the death of George Floyd and ongoing protests occurring in Harris County:

“I join the millions of fellow Americans and people across the world in condemning the brutal, senseless murder of George Floyd. The sight of yet another black American having their life stolen by a law enforcement officer whose mission was to protect and serve their community is heartbreaking, and stands as just the latest painful reminder of the deep, systemic flaws that continue to break the bonds of trust between many of our residents and our criminal justice system.

For generations, black and brown people in America have suffered grave injustices at the hands of institutional power in this county. That is one of the reasons I ran for office and why so many patriotic residents across our county and cities across our nation are choosing to exercise their first amendment right to speak out and demand meaningful change. I wholeheartedly support their rights to do so and join Mayor Turner and others in urging those who speak out to do so peacefully, safely, and with the ultimate goal of driving meaningful change, not more violence. It is also true that today, the threat of COVID-19 continues to linger in our community, and close contact with others can be potentially deadly and lead to an outbreak. That is why I urge those who join in demanding change to wear a face covering, practice social distancing, and mitigate potential exposure as much as possible or by participating virtually.

Each and every member of our community, regardless of their race, background, or economic status deserves to be treated with dignity and respect during encounters with police. When we lost George Floyd, we lost a fellow Houstonian and someone whose legacy will forever remind us of the work that remains to build a more just equal society for the most vulnerable among us. As we move forward, I want George Floyd’s friends and family here in Harris County to know that his life – and the life of so many others we’ve lost to injustice – will drive us to work ever more zealously to create a more equitable, fairer Harris County. As County Judge, I will continue to do everything in my power to drive forward meaningful criminal justice reform, hold all our institutions – including law enforcement – accountable and work to dismantle the root sources of racism and inequity in our community. The work is long and hard, but we will continue to drive forward alongside the community and with more resolve than ever.

Over the past several days, I and our Office of Emergency Management have remained in close touch with Mayor Turner and the City of Houston regarding the protests. We stand ready to provide any additional tools or resources they may require to keep our communities safe and look forward to working together to honor the life of George Floyd by promoting meaningful action, peace, and justice for all.”