SAN ANGELO, Texas – As protests pop up in every major city around the nation, members of the community in San Angelo gathered to let their voices be heard in a peaceful protest to honor the late George Floyd.
George Floyd was tragically killed by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin after restraining him to the ground using his knee against George’s neck. Minutes later, George passed away after not being able to breathe – in which he voiced several times. George was being detained for suspicion of forgery.
The death of George Floyd has circulated all over social media and in the news in the last week. The video is exceptionally difficult to watch. Derek Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and arrested after the video emerged of the situation. Prosecutors charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday, May 29th.
Protests began taking place in Minneapolis earlier last week before Derek was sentenced. The community was frustrated by the lack of urgency in handling the murder and wanted officials to know. On May 26th, members of the Minneapolis, Saint Paul community gathered to peacefully protest in honor of George Floyd. However, after they were met with police force, things began to get out of control and over the next few days, riots broke out and the city was left in mere chaos and destruction.
This sparked outrage, frustration and mourning across the nation and more major cities began to see peaceful protests begin. Some cities held gatherings to pray, take a moment of silent to remember George and help their own communities come together in solidarity. However, some of these protests became violent and ended in destruction, much like the Twin Cities riots.
Texas began to see protests pop up in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio over the weekend, following Floyd’s death. While some of these gatherings remained peaceful, some did not. The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, issued a state of disaster for Texas on Sunday, May 31st.
San Angelo Chief of Police, Frank Carter, issued a personal statement on his Facebook in regards to the protest in San Angelo. Below are some excerpts from his post:
“The First Amendment affords everyone the right to gather peacefully. It also gives us the opportunity to come together as one, every race, gender, nationality, age, religion, to unite and become stronger. To stand for a cause and have our voices be heard.
I want the citizens of San Angelo to know, you have some of the best officers and civilians in the nation serving you. I also know we have some of the best citizens in the nation who support law enforcement. We have worked hard over many years to build those relationships together.
I ask that we all come together as one this evening like San Angelo has many times in the past and have a peaceful protest. Let our voice be heard for George Floyd and his family. Together we can change, together we can make San Angelo better. God Bless.”Frank Carter, Chief of Police for the San Angelo Police Department
On the evening of May 31st, the community of San Angelo held a gathering to protest and incite remembrance for George Floyd. The protest began at Bosque On the Concho downtown, where an estimated 300 people showed up. Speakers spoke out against the killing of George Floyd before they began their march down Irving Street where they finished the march at City Hall. The steps of City Hall became filled with protesters, holding signs and shouting chants such as, “I can’t breathe!” The crowd laid down on their stomachs for 8 minutes to honor the last 8 minutes of Flyod’s life. The demonstration was followed by an hour worth of community members speaking on various topics surrounding the protest. San Angelo Police were present throughout the entire event and the protest remained peaceful as the crowd marched back down Irving Street to end the event at the Bosque.
To view a gallery of images from the protest, please visit: Concho Valley Homepage.