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Protesters rally against police brutality in the summer of 2020. (Austonia staff)

Texas activists will take to the Capitol on Thursday morning, calling for police reform bills similar to those implemented around the nation after George Floyd's death last May.


The killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer brought millions of people to the streets in protest of police brutality as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer. In many cities, change took shape in various ways, including in Austin, where police funding was reallocated to other departments in the city.

Texan social justice activists are looking to bring about other changes statewide with several bills, including the George Floyd Act, which would ban police chokeholds, emphasize de-escalation tactics and make qualified immunity less accessible to police officers in police brutality lawsuits. Qualified immunity is one of the foremost protections police officers have from punishment for misconduct.

Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, and Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, co-introduced the bill, while a separate bill looking to take TV shows like "Cops" and other law enforcement reality programs off the air was drafted by Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock.

Behind the event are Austin-area organizations, including Austin Justice Coalition and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, which will bring about 60 speakers. The rally will begin at the southern entrance of the Texas Capitol on 11th Street at 10:30 a.m.

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