AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced legislative proposals Thursday that would target 'rioters' who are not 'protesting peacefully.' The proposal would make anyone who injures or destroys person/property during a riot a felony.
These proposals are focused on protecting police officers and making sure the communities are safe, according to Governor Greg Abbott.
During a press conference, Abbott emphasized his support for peaceful protests but says Texas will not tolerate rioting or violence. "We're tired of seeing all these rioters, they're arrested and 30 min later they're back on the streets," the governor said.
Here is a list of a few of the proposals he made:
- Anyone causing injury or property damage during a riot will be a felony
- Striking an officer with or without an object would be at least 6 months in jail
- Using a laser to target an officer would be a felony
- Blocking hospital entrances/exits would be a felony
- Using fireworks during demonstrations would result in jail time
- Consequences for people/organizations helping in riots
The proposal was in response to Austin City Council's announcement that it would be cutting $150 million from the Austin Police Department's budget. The total APD budget that was approved will be about $290 million which is down from the $434 million that was in the proposed budget.