Statement from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on George Floyd and Protests in Harris County

May 31, 2020

CountyJudge Lina Hidalgo today issued the following statement in response to the death ofGeorge Floyd and ongoing protests occurring in Harris County:

“I join the millions of fellow Americans andpeople across the world in condemning the brutal, senseless murder of GeorgeFloyd. The sight of yet another black American having their life stolen by alaw enforcement officer whose mission was to protect and serve their communityis heartbreaking, and stands as just the latest painful reminder of the deep,systemic flaws that continue to break the bonds of trust between many of ourresidents and our criminal justice system.

For generations, black and brown people inAmerica have suffered grave injustices at the hands of institutional power inthis county. That is one of the reasons I ran for office and why so manypatriotic residents across our county and cities across our nation are choosingto exercise their first amendment right to speak out and demand meaningfulchange. I wholeheartedly support their rights to do so and join Mayor Turnerand others in urging those who speak out to do so peacefully, safely, and withthe ultimate goal of driving meaningful change, not more violence. It is alsotrue that today, the threat of COVID-19 continues to linger in our community,and close contact with others can be potentially deadly and lead to anoutbreak. That is why I urge those who join in demanding change to wear a facecovering, practice social distancing, and mitigate potential exposure as muchas possible or by participating virtually

Each and every member of our community,regardless of their race, background, or economic status deserves to be treatedwith dignity and respect during encounters with police. When we lost GeorgeFloyd, we lost a fellow Houstonian and someone whose legacy will forever remindus of the work that remains to build a more just equal society for the mostvulnerable among us.  As we move forward, I want George Floyd’s friendsand family here in Harris County to know that his life - and the life of somany others we’ve lost to injustice - will drive us to work ever more zealouslyto create a more equitable, fairer Harris County. As County Judge, I willcontinue to do everything in my power to drive forward meaningful criminaljustice reform, hold all our institutions - including law enforcement -accountable and work to dismantle the root sources of racism and inequity inour community. The work is long and hard, but we will continue to drive forwardalongside the community and with more resolve than ever. 

Over the past several days, I and our Office of Emergency Management haveremained in close touch with Mayor Turner and the City of Houston regarding theprotests. We stand ready to provide any additional tools or resources they mayrequire to keep our communities safe and look forward to working together tohonor the life of George Floyd by promoting meaningful action, peace, andjustice for all.”