Texas governor meets with George Floyd's family, signals support for police reforms

Texas governor meets with George Floyd's family, signals support for police reforms
© Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) met with George Floyd’s family on Monday when he traveled to Houston for Floyd’s viewing. 

The governor told reporters he was meeting with Floyd’s family privately to express his condolences and give them a flag flown over the Texas Capitol in Floyd’s honor. Abbott also signaled that he would back police reforms after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody last month.

“Today is a sad day. Ever since his death has been a sad day,” Abbott said.

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Abbott said the death of Floyd, a longtime Houston resident who moved to Minneapolis a few years ago, was “the most horrific tragedy I’ve ever personally observed.” The governor said he was committed to working with Floyd’s family “to ensure we never have anything like this ever occur in the state of Texas.”

"George Floyd has not died in vain," Abbott said. "His life will be a living legacy about the way that America and Texas responds to this tragedy.”

The governor also promised the family that “discussions about the pathway forward” would not be overtaken by politicians and would be led by family members, victims and others “who have suffered because of racism for far too long.”

Abbott said that the Texas Legislature, which will meet again in January 2021, has already begun discussions on addressing police brutality. The governor said some members he has spoken with have cited that better law enforcement training is needed.

“Remember this: Texas has a legacy of success, whether it be the Timothy Cole Act, the Sandra Bland Act and now maybe the George Floyd Act to make sure that we prevent police brutality like this from happening in the future in Texas,” he said. 

Abbott’s comments come as thousands of people commemorated Floyd at his public visitation on Monday. 

The governor is not the only politician to meet with Floyd’s family as presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Teachers face off against Trump on school reopenings Biden wins Puerto Rico primary MORE was also scheduled to meet with his family on Monday.

Protests have broken out across the country, including in Texas, after video surfaced of a former officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes.