GOP Rep. Will Hurd marches with protesters in Houston

GOP Rep. Will Hurd marches with protesters in Houston
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Republican Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard Hurd4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Key impeachment witness retires | Duckworth presses for information | Subpanel advances defense measure | Democrats press for end to military transgender ban Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push MORE (Texas) marched with protesters in Houston on Tuesday to demonstrate against the police-involved death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man.

Hurd, a centrist who represents a district in southwest Texas and is retiring at the end of his term, said he was joining marchers to show that one can protest Floyd’s death while still condemning the rioting and looting that has followed in a number of major cities.

“Today we come together in Houston, Texas, side by side with George Floyd’s family to peacefully march for justice,” Hurd said in a video posted on Twitter.

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“What we are showing here in Houston is that we can be outraged by a black man getting murdered in police custody. We can be united for change in our society. And we can be thankful that law enforcement is enabling our First Amendment Rights. And we can be pissed that some stupid people are looting and rioting, which goes against our American values. Everything is not a binary choice.”

The protest Hurd joined in Houston was just one of several taking place across the country to demonstrate against Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis last week.

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The marches were first sparked after video went viral showing a white officer pinning Floyd to the ground by his neck for several minutes as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.

A number of the demonstrations that began peacefully during the day have devolved into violence at night, spurring warnings from President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE that he would use the military to suppress the violence.

The situation was escalated on Monday when law enforcement fired pepper balls and smoke canisters into a crowd of peaceful protesters outside the White House to clear the way for Trump to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church, a target of arsonists the previous night.

Hurd said he was concerned about the steep level of division in the country following Floyd’s killing but that he was encouraged by what he saw in the march in Houston.

“I’ve been worried that maybe I’ve been wrong about one of my core beliefs and core values, that way more unites us as a country than divides us. But that belief is only strengthened by what I’ve seen here today,” he said. “I will always believe in an America that can come together to accomplish anything because we have done it so many times before.”