George Floyd’s death in May sparked a new wave of protests and reinvigorated a nationwide movement against police brutality and racial injustice. Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody when a white Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes.
The protests in Texas and the nation have stretched on for days and weeks in cities across the state and the country. Police have responded to some demonstrators with shows of force and violence. Police cited attacks on officers and criminal activity during the protests as reasons that law enforcement used techniques that included spraying tear gas into crowds to shooting so-called “less lethal” projectiles at protesters.
Those calling for reform said police actions during protests highlight broader issues with policing culture and responsibilities.
The Texas Tribune spoke to criminologists, policy makers and advocates to hear their perspectives on what the current moment means for Texas and what happens next.