Protests over police violence took place Sunday despite the formal cancellation of the event. Protesters shut down I-35, and police used tear gas and rubber bullets.
Late in the afternoon, Michael Ramos' mother, Brenda, spoke at a press conference outside her apartment complex.
"Why is Officer [Christopher] Taylor still drawing a paycheck from us, the citizens of Austin?" she asked, pulling down her mask so she could speak. "Why are we paying his salary when he murdered my son over a month ago and he murdered someone else's son over 10 months ago? Why isn't he in jail?"
Despite the formal cancelation of Sunday's protest at the Texas State Capitol, hundreds of people gathered along 11th Street and marched to Austin City Hall and back. Some shut down I-35 for the second day in a row, and Austin police used tear gas and beanbag rounds in an effort to move people off the roadway.
Tear gas and rubber bullets get shot to disperse crowd from highway. https://t.co/ffchePzSKV— Thee Environmental Reportréss (@Thee Environmental Reportréss)1590959385.0
The police form a line on Cesar Chavez, stopping demonstrators marching from City Hall. s3.amazonaws.com
Police allow protestors to turn north on San Antonio toward Republic Square. s3.amazonaws.com
Update 5/31 11:21 a.m.:
Chas Moore, executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition, announced on Facebook live that the organization would cancel the protest planned for Sunday at the Texas State Capitol.
"We are supposed to be out demonstrating, peacefully protesting the need for safety and for freedom and liberation for black people," Moore said. "And when I look at what's going on in Austin, when I look at the mess that happened last night, I look at white people burning stuff up in the name of Black Lives Matter and there's little to no black lives at these events."
Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency on Sunday in response to the protests.
Update 5/31 11:10 a.m.
Another protest is planned for the Texas State Capitol grounds on Sunday, with organizers calling for peaceful demonstrations.
Austin Police Department officers will be working 12-hour shifts for the indefinite future, the CBS Austin reports, and all have been called into work.
Mayor Steve Adler said in an emailed statement sent Sunday morning that he would not attend the protest. "I want to stand with others to recognize that only a 'just' city is a safe one," he wrote. "I also know that especially large gatherings still present great risk of spreading the virus in ways that would be hard to tract, isolate and control."
Update 5/30 11:28 p.m.
Target said it would temporarily close some stores nationwide, including at least three in Austin.
The protest started with hundreds outside the Austin police headquarters, moved to the highway and grew even larger as it made its way to the Texas State Capitol.
#austin #MikeRamos Hundreds more protestors coming from the west on 8th street. https://t.co/RojNptRldx— austonia (@austonia)1590864321.0
#austin #MikeRamos Clearing damp w horses https://t.co/YmGcau2ut2— austonia (@austonia)1590863203.0
Crowd@moving south I35 both lanes. Southbound lane clear of cars Northbound cars slowly moving https://t.co/SPk0TRudTl— austonia (@austonia)1590861555.0
It is not the first protest of the weekend, nor will it be the last.
Police in Austin made several arrests at a protest that took place last night and early this morning outside Austin Police Department headquarters downtown, KXAN reports.
Gov. Greg Abbott, who yesterday said the Floyd killing was "horrific" and "a consequence of poor police work," announced today he had spoke to the mayors of major cities in Texas—including Austin—and had "sent state resources" to help manage protests.
Another protest is planned tomorrow at the Texas State Capitol.
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore announced last night that the office will convene a special grand jury to consider the Ramos case.
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