(Office Of The Governor)

Local and state officials said they are working to root out violent agitators, some of whom may be traveling across state lines, to participate in vandalism and looting at protests against police brutality across Texas.


"We will not be asking the United States military to come into the state of Texas because we know that Texas can take care of Texas," Gov. Greg Abbott said during a press conference in Dallas today.

Police have identified violent extremists, anarchists, Nazis and anti-fascists—also known as antifa—among those who committed crimes this past weekend—and are planning arrests, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col Steve McCraw said at the same event. "There's no question about the involvement of these violent extremists," he added.

Nearly 3,000 state officers and hundreds of National Guard members have been deployed across the state to assist local police.

In Austin, antifa web pages and accounts were found to have organized looters at the Capital Plaza Target off I-35 near Hwy. 290 on Sunday evening, McCraw said.

Abbott condemned the killing of George Floyd and said he is working with law enforcement agencies—including the state department of public safety and the National Guard—to pursue those hijacking the largely peaceful protests that have erupted in response to Floyd's death.

"[I]t is essential that we end the violence and the vandalism and the looting that we've seen the past few days over the course of these protests," Abbott said.

In a media call yesterday, Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley said his staff is still culling together data on arrests of non-Texas residents at this weekend's protests.

In terms of policy changes, Abbott said he visited with state legislators earlier today to discuss next steps. "Today is not going to be any type of end for us as legislators," he said. "Today is going to be the beginning of a dialogue."

Abbott declined to offer specific policy considerations. However, State Rep. Lorraine Birabil, D-Dallas, announced in a Facebook post last night that she plans to introduce a "see something, say something" bill in the 2021 legislative session that would hold law enforcement officers liable if they witness an excess use of force and fail to file a formal report.

When asked if he would support this, Abbott said: "One-off answers are incomplete. We need to have a complete dialogue in the House and Senate."

Note: This article has been updated with additional comment.

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