A viral video from the weekend protests in Houston shows HPD Chief Art Acevedo making a passionate plea for protesters to respectfully seek justice for George Floyd.
Floyd, who is originally from Houston’s Third Ward, died while in Minneapolis police custody last week after officer Derek Chauvin, who is now charged with murder and manslaughter, was seen on video kneeling on his neck until he could no longer breathe. Video of Floyd’s death sparked outrage from protesters in cities across the country, leading to days-long marches and riots.
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Protesters flocked to downtown Houston Friday and marched through the city late into the night, leading to street closures, some looting and more than 200 arrests. Marches and protests were held the following days across the city and Texas, leading Gov. Greg Abbott to declare a state of disaster and send in troops from the National Guard.
During one of the Houston rallies, Acevedo was seen on a now widely-circulated video making a heated call for residents to remain peaceful while marching.
“How do you keep a knee on a man’s neck when he is calling out for his mama?” I am telling everyone in this g** d*** country if you don’t have a f****** problem with that you are the g** d*** problem,” Acevedo said in the video. “We will march as a department with everyone in this community…But I will not allow anyone to tear down this city.”
The video has been viewed nearly 7 million times since it was first posted to Twitter on Sunday.