The Coastal Bend delegation of Texas legislators mourns the horrific and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Michael Ramos, Breonna Taylor, and many others. Despite its lofty principles of fairness and equal protection, our justice system failed these Americans. It is clear that changes are necessary to ensure proper training, oversight, and accountability, and we commit ourselves to finding bipartisan solutions to protect the lives and civil liberties of all Texans.
South Texas and the Coastal Bend stand for peace, care, concern, and respect for all persons. We stand with our neighbors who have taken to the streets to grieve, seek justice, upend entrenched systems of discrimination, and hold leaders to account. Their righteous cause is threatened, however, by the selfish and destructive actions of outside agitators, and we strongly condemn attempts to replace peaceful protests with rioting, looting, and violence.
As this situation develops, we urge restraint from everyone involved. Protest is a fundamental and inexorable right of all Americans, but violence and property damage serve only to distract us from the problems at hand. Similarly, we encourage all law enforcement officers to follow the example of many of their peers nationwide by communicating with protestors, seeking to understand their frustrations, and de-escalating tense situations.
We hope all Texans will engage in the difficult conversations and introspection this moment demands. After years of empty words and little action, this can be the time when we transcend the mistakes of the past and present and work toward a brighter, more equitable future—together.
Together in peace,
Senator Judith Zaffirini
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa
Representative Todd Hunter
Representative Abel Herrero
Representative J.M. Lozano