Gov. Greg Abbott calls for new crimes, mandatory jail time for certain offenses related to protests

Abbott and other state leaders have criticized recent attempts to lower police spending in Austin and Dallas. Activists and local officials say using those funds for social services could stem systemic racism.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott(KTRK)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 10:17 AM CDT
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WATCH: Gov. Greg Abbott announces public safety proposals. MORE ->

Posted by CBS7 News on Thursday, September 24, 2020

TEXAS TRIBUNE - Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to announce legislative proposals about public safety in Texas at noon Central time Thursday at a press conference in Dallas. He will make his remarks at the Dallas Police Association’s headquarters.

Abbott and other state leaders have criticized Texas city officials for recent attempts to lower police spending and use those funds for social services that activists and local officials say could stem systemic racism and crime. After the Austin City Council cut its police budget in August, Abbott and other Texas Republicans have offered several proposals for drastic legislation to counter local budget decreases — echoing a polarizing national debate about American policing in the 21st century.

Republicans and Democrats often stick to their party lines that pit a fear of rising crime in major cities against calls for racial justice and reforms to police behavior. Calls to cut police budgets and reform officers' tactics gained renewed momentum this year after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes in May.

Protests demanding such changes have occurred across the nation and in Texas. Two days of unruly protests against police brutality at the Texas Capitol in May left graffiti on the historic building and cuts and bruises on state police officers. The Texas Department of Public Safety spent the summer naming and arresting suspects, the majority of whom are accused of misdemeanors.

You will be able to watch the news conference on CBS7, the CBS7 Facebook page and on

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