Texas Governor Declares State of Disaster, Allows Feds to Act as State Peace Officers

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Breitbart Texas Photo/Bob Price

Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a  “State of Disaster” in the wake of violent George Floyd protests happening across the state. The move authorizes federal agents to act as Texas peace officers.

Governor Greg Abbott today declared a State of Disaster for all Texas counties in the midst of violent protests that endanger public safety and threaten property loss and damage,” officials with the Office of the Texas Governor said in a written statement. “Under this declaration, the Governor has the ability to designate federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers.”

Governor Abbott said, “Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights. However, violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive.”

“As protests have turned violent in various areas across the state, it is crucial that we maintain order, uphold public safety, and protect against property damage or loss,” the governor continued. “By authorizing additional federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers we will help protect people’s safety while ensuring that peaceful protesters can continue to make their voices heard.”
In the governor’s declaration, attached below, Abbott certified that the “threats and incidents of violence constitute and pose an imminent threat of disaster.”

The declaration states:

Pursuant to Section 418.017, I authorize the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with
this disaster.

Pursuant to Section 4 18.016(a), I hereby suspend all relevant provisions within Chapter 1701 of the Texas Occupations Code, as well as Title 37, Chapters 211-229 of the Texas
Administrative Code, to the extent necessary for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to allow federal law enforcement officers to perform peace officer duties in Texas. Additionally, pursuant to Section 418.016, any other regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or any order or rule of a state agency that would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster shall be suspended upon written approval of the Office of the Governor.

However, to the extent that the enforcement of any state statute or administrative rule regarding contracting or procurement would impede any state agency’s emergency response that is necessary to cope with this declared disaster, I hereby suspend such statutes and rules for the duration of this declared disaster for that limited purpose.

The declaration from the governor follows his decision on Saturday to deploy 1,500 Department of Public Safety troopers to major cities across Texas and to activate the Texas National Guard to assist in keeping the peace, Breitbart Texas reported.

Shortly after the governor’s announcement, Abbott tweeted that the FBI is deploying tactical teams to “assist state and local law enforcement.” Abbott ordered “thousands more troopers” to cities across the state that experienced violent protests, riots, and looting.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information regarding the FBI deployment of agents to Texas and Governor Abbott’s order to increase the number of Texas National Guard troops deployed to cities across the state.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s State of Disaster Declaration

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