Denton County Judge Andy Eads and the Highland Village Police Department joined local police chiefs in supporting peaceful protests and condemning looting and rioting.
On Tuesday morning, Eads delivered the following statement during the Denton County Commissioners Court meeting in support of peaceful protest:
“As I watched the protest in downtown Denton last night, I could see and feel the anger and sadness of the crowd – a feeling I share even today after watching the horrific death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A fellow Texas native, George Floyd lived in Houston where he was known as someone who was there for individuals in need. He moved to Minneapolis for a fresh start – a fresh start that was cut short by the repugnant and senseless actions of a few now former police officers.
This incident should never have happened. And I know many of you share in the disbelief, anger and utter outrage that something like this continues to occur in 2020.
I, along with all of you, am glad the officer has been charged and that the investigation is ongoing of the officers who stood by and did nothing. These men should also pay a penalty for not fulfilling the duty of every law enforcement officer who takes an oath to serve and protect the public.
The peaceful protests we have seen in Denton show that many are standing up for what they believe in.
I want to personally and on behalf of the Commissioners Court thank them for a peaceful protest.
Any time an individual stands up for what is right it demonstrates a courage we should all emulate.
It is a fundamental right in our country to allow the voices of all to be heard.
We feel strongly about protecting the rights of residents to protest.
Yet we also need to protect our county from outsiders who wish to instigate riots. We will continue to ensure our residents and our businesses remain safe as these protests continue in the days to come.
I hope all of you will join us in mourning the tragic death of George Floyd – a man who has become the symbol of the changes we need to make as a country to ensure the rights of all are protected as it states in the U.S. Constitution:
“We, the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
These words have never rung truer than they do today.
Let me end with the resounding words of wisdom from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself.”
I hope we can learn from this tragedy and find a common ground to right the wrongs of the past in vigorous pursuit of a brighter tomorrow for all.”
Also Tuesday, HVPD released a statement about the protests, saying in part: “We appreciate the community recognition that our department condemns the actions that led to the death of George Floyd as we continue our prayers for the Floyd family and our nation. As a city, we will continue to support peaceful rallies and as such recommend that they do not organize to compete against each other.
“The Highland Village Police Department has used body cameras since 2009. Our officers are committed to community policing with an active involvement with our citizens in our neighborhoods and businesses.”
HVPD will have an increased police presence at The Shops at Highland Village on Tuesday evening to ensure safety of a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally, starting at 5:30 p.m. No violence or destructive behavior will be tolerated.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) June 2, 2020