Jordan Vonderhaar for the Texas Tribune

Armed protesters guard the memorial of Garrett Foster, who was shot and killed during a protest against police brutality in Austin on July 25, 2020.

By Jordan Vonderhaar

Throughout the summer, cities in Texas and around the country have seen protests and demonstrations against police brutality. On Saturday, protesters and law enforcement clashed in Austin, a week after protester Garrett Foster, who was openly carrying an AK-47 rifle — which is legal in Texas — was shot and killed by Daniel Perry, a U.S. Army sergeant, when he approached his car. Perry drove away, then called the police. Perry was released without being charged. Since then, questions have been raised about who was the aggressor.



Foster's death fueled tensions Saturday night in the downtown streets of the state capital as demonstrators again gathered and local and state police turned out in massive force. Tribune photographer Jordan Vonderhaar was there to document the protest. Here's what he saw.


State police in riot gear form a line along Congress Avenue and advance toward protesters to remove them from the street.

Jordan Vonderhaar

Armed protesters ride in the back of a pickup truck from a rally at the University of Texas to a memorial for Garrett Foster in downtown Austin, minutes after hearing of clashes between other protesters and police.

Jordan Vonderhaar

A man with a sniper rifle slung over his shoulder stands among protesters who have gathered at the Garrett Foster memorial in downtown Austin.

Jordan Vonderhaar

A protester confronts police in riot gear.

Jordan Vonderhaar

Mounted officers from the Austin Police Department clash with protesters on the corner of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.

Jordan Vonderhaar

Mounted officers from the Austin Police Department clash with protesters on the corner of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.

Jordan Vonderhaar

State police were present large numbers. 

Jordan Vonderhaar

Jordan Vonderhaar

A protester armed with a baseball bat kneels in the street with fist upraised as protesters clashed with police in downtown Austin on Aug. 1, 2020.

Jordan Vonderhaar

Members of the far-right Proud Boys militia stand on Congress Avenue across from the Garrett Foster memorial in downtown Austin.

Jordan Vonderhaar

A woman with her hands zip-tied waits to be loaded onto a bus after being arrested during protests against police brutality in downtown Austin.

Jordan Vonderhaar

Police load arrested protesters into a Travis County Sheriff Department bus.

Jordan Vonderhaar

A police officer sprays a protester with pepper spray as demonstrators clash with police in downtown Austin

Jordan Vonderhaar

A heavy police presence marked Saturday's protest in downtown Austin.


The challenge for all of us this Thanksgiving is letting go of what we've lost in this tough year and treasure what we still have.

We at Austonia are thankful for you. Since we launched our site in April, we've done our best to connect you to Austin, with stories ranging from the important to the delightfully superficial. Your response has been strong and we are grateful.

At this time of thanks, we have a variety of stories for you. Laura Figi writes about "a greener holiday," food trends, and Friday shopping. Emma Freer writes about a nearby annual Native American heritage celebration. And Roberto Ontiveros brings us a thoughtful piece that looks at the human toll of Austin's gentrification—the often painful flip side to having shiny new bars, restaurants, and apartments—in this case it's displacement of the Black community on East 11th Street. Finally, we ask you how you're celebrating the holiday this year.

Our best to you and your loved ones!

—The Austonia Team

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