Houston area activists are planning another protest against police brutality on Friday, this time for Breonna Taylor, a Louisville EMT shot eight times by authorities in a botched drug raid.
Taylor, an aspiring nurse, was killed by police in her apartment in March. The recent protests over the death of George Flloyd have brought her name and story to light. She would have turned 27 on Friday.
The rally for Taylor will take place in downtown Houston at Discovery Green at 3 p.m.
The protest is being organized by activist Shelly Baker and Black Lives Matter Houston founder Ashton P. Woods. They hope the protest will push local police reform, including banning chokeholds and strangleholds, requiring police to issue a warning before shooting, and redirecting 50 percent of the Houston Police Department’s budget to community-based services.
The planned rally comes two days after a peaceful march and protest with George Floyd’s family ended in chaos in Houston when police enforced an arbitrary and non-existent curfew, forcibly dispersing and arresting peaceful protesters who chose to continue to express their anger over police killings long after news cameras and elected officials had gone home.
Other protests against police brutality are already being planned throughout Texas. In Austin, the Austin Justice Coalition and other activist groups are hosting a march on Sunday.
Police crackdowns of such protests across the state have sparked fury over the use of rubber bullets, bean bag rounds, and tear gas — weapons used by authorities in Dallas and Austin that resulted in serious injuries for many, including the loss of an eye for one Dallas protestor and a fractured skull and brain damage for one Austin protestor who remains in critical condition.
In San Antonio and Austin, police brutality against protestors has led residents to take their anger directly to city council sessions.
“It was like they were shooting fish in a barrel,” one Austinite testified.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley has since promised to stop using bean bag rounds for crowd control purposes.
The incidents of police violence have led residents in Houston and other major Texas cities to pressure city council members for police budgets to be slashed or divested.
Photo: JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com