George Floyd | KERA News

George Floyd

The statue of Lawrence Sullivan "Sully" Ross has been standing at Texas A&M University for 102 years.
Travel_with_me / Shutterstock

Protesters continue to push for the removal of Confederate monuments across Texas. But it's not just statues that are stamped with that chapter of history. Texas counties — and even a state university — bear Confederate names.

Less than a week after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, San Antonio-born, Austin-based filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith responded with a powerful short film that simultaneously eulogizes Floyd and points the way toward a rebirth.

Protesters demonstrate against police brutality in Dallas on June 13, 2020. Activists and Dallas City Council members are considering ways Dallas Police Department's $514 million budget could be used.
Associated Press

Calls to defund the police may have started in the streets, but the outcries of protesters seeking an end to police brutality have made it to Dallas City Hall — and the city's leaders are listening.

Keren Carrión/KERA News

After weeks of protests, the Dallas Police Department is making changes. Chief Reneé Hall announced Tuesday that the department will now release videos when police shoot people or are accused of using excessive force within 72 hours of someone being hurt or dying. The policy also applies to deaths in police custody.

The Austin Police Department has named five officers it says may be responsible for seriously injuring people demonstrating during the first weekend of protests against systemic racism and police violence.

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The release of body camera footage in the police killing of Mike Ramos is being delayed, the city said Sunday. The Austin Police Department had planned to release the video Monday, but failed to follow proper procedure, according to City Manager Spencer Cronk.

Wille Hudspeth, wearing a green American flag T-shirt and a Vietnam veterans hat, sits on a bench in Denton's green, grassy town square.
Miranda Suarez / KERA

The statue of a young man stands with a rifle, facing south, on top of a white stone arch with the words "Our Confederate Soldiers."

It has stood in Denton's town square since 1918, but earlier this month the Denton County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to remove and relocate it


The COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality protests can weigh heavily on anyone's emotions. But who helps therapists and other mental health professionals process their emotions in times like these?

Opal Lee, 93, opens her front door and warmly greets her new visitor.
Alejandra Martinez / KERA

Inside a historic red-brick home in Fort Worth, 93-year-old Opal Lee, her granddaughter and volunteers answer calls, shift papers and walk back and forth from the library to the dining room as they plan for this year’s socially-distant celebration of Juneteenth. 

How Social Movements Impact Business

Jun 18, 2020
Keren Carrion / KERA News

Even when protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd fade from the headlines, demonstrators hope to use their wallets to continue pushing their message.

George Floyd struggled desperately to make himself heard during his arrest. With a Minneapolis police officer's knee planted on his neck for more than 8 minutes, he pleaded for help, said he couldn't breathe — and finally, fell silent.

On Wednesday, more than three weeks after Floyd's killing, his brother raised a voice on his behalf in a message to international diplomats.

When protesters across the U.S. started marching through city streets late last month, demanding justice for George Floyd, state and local leaders sounded a familiar alarm. 

As demonstrators gathered around the White House last weekend, Howard University law student Tope Aladetimi leaned her cardboard protest sign against the street median and took a load off her feet. She had already been out protesting for a few hours, and the temperature was climbing into the 90s.

"There's a power in using your body, and actually physically being here," Aladetimi said. "Oftentimes, our voices aren't heard and this is the only way we're able to get our message across."

Domonique Dille, a Howard law school classmate, feels an urgency to this moment.

A demonstrator paints "Black Lives Matter" on her car's front windshield ahead of the caravan protest in Frisco.
Rebekah Morr / KERA News

Both Richardson and Frisco held socially distant protests advocating for racial justice and police reform over the weekend, in caravan form.

A 24-year-old pregnant protester who was shot with a lead-pellet bag by Austin police two weeks ago is calling for accountability.

Saraneka Martin, who is seven weeks pregnant, said she was sitting with other demonstrators during the first weekend of protests downtown when police began using the so-called less-lethal ammunition.

Protesters listen to a speaker during a demonstration against police brutality organized by the Next Generation Action Network in Dallas on Saturday.
LM Otero / Associated Press

It’s been over two weeks since the death of George Floyd, and protesters in Dallas and across the country continue their calls for racial justice. Not even the Texas summer could stifle demonstrators Saturday at Reverchon Park in Dallas.

Keren Carrion / KERA News

On Thursday afternoon, President Trump visited Dallas for a roundtable discussion about policing. He gathered with administration officials and local leaders at the North Campus of Gateway Church to discuss future reforms. 

Outside of the event, dozens of people waited in the Texas heat. Some were protesters who said they’d like to see greater accountability in policing. Others were there to show their support of President Trump.

Senator John Cornyn listened for more than an hour to law enforcement, faith, community and civil rights leaders discuss police reform.
Alejandra Martinez / KERA

At a discussion in Dallas on police reform, U.S. Senator John Cornyn said it's important for police departments to be transparent and be held accountable, while working to build trust with communities.

Minster Sammy Berry stands at the podium in Dallas West Church of Christ.
Alejandra Martinez / KERA News

The recent Black Lives Matter protests across the world have sparked conversations about racism and police brutality at a historic West Dallas church.

"What George Floyd did was remind me that we still have a problem in this country that has not been addressed," said Sammie Berry, a minister at Dallas West Church of Christ.

Raymond Abii, 11, stands at the forefront of a group of protesters shouting "Black Lives Matter."
Keren Carrion / KERA News

President Donald Trump rejected calls to defund police during his visit to Dallas Thursday. Trump was in town for a roundtable discussion about policing and race relations, and his first in-person fundraiser since pandemic lockdowns began. 

Like most public school educators, Jesse Hagopian has spent the spring struggling to teach his students online. Some are homeless, while others are working frontline jobs to support their families.

And now many of his students, like others around the country, are on the front lines in another sense: protesting the deaths of George Floyd and other black people at the hands of police.

Dallas police officers during a march against the death of George Floyd on May 29.
Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Ten of Dallas' 15 City Council members appear supportive of pulling money from the police department and reallocating it toward community investments, as nationwide calls for "defunding" law enforcement grow in the wake of historic protests against police brutality.

Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

Dallas’ Community Police Oversight Board met Tuesday night for the first time in months. The five-hour video conference featured public comments and statements from the mayor and police chief.

Justin Rose tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational golf tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth in 2018.
Cooper Neill / Associated Press

The PGA Tour is leaving the 8:46 a.m. tee time vacant this week at Colonial as part of a tribute to George Floyd and to support efforts to end racial and social injustice.

Updated 7:28 p.m. ET

George Floyd, whose killing by police inspired worldwide protests calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, was taken to a cemetery for burial Tuesday in his hometown of Houston.

The black man died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. A video captured by a bystander showed Floyd pleading for air and calling out for his mother.

Floyd, 46, was to be buried next to his mother.

A stone tablet reads "In memory of Confederate soldiers, 1861-1865, and their descendents who served in Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II."
Miranda Suarez / KERA

Elected officials in both Tarrant and Denton Counties on Tuesday voted to remove Confederate monuments that sit near their courthouses.

A woman stops to photograph a memorial for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church on Tuesday in Houston.
Eric Gay / Associated Press

George Floyd, whose killing by police inspired days of protests in the U.S. and around the world calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, will be laid to rest on Tuesday in his hometown of Houston. Watch it here.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gives an update on the coronavirus at an earlier press conference on March 13, 2020.
Eric Gay / Associated Press

Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to Houston on Monday to attend the public visitation of George Floyd, a black man who was killed recently in Minneapolis police custody. Abbott told reporters afterward that Floyd’s death was “the most horrific tragedy I’ve ever personally observed” and signaled an openness to pursuing policing reforms in the future.

Hundreds Of Mourners Attend Public Viewing For George Floyd In Houston

Jun 8, 2020
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

Hundreds of mourners lined up outside a Houston church Monday to honor George Floyd, a former Houston resident who was killed by police in Minneapolis two weeks ago.

President Trump on Monday rejected calls to disband or defund police departments as a response to massive protests against police brutality, sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd by police.

"Sometimes you'll see some horrible things, like we witnessed recently," Trump said. "Ninety-nine percent of them are great, great people."

"The police are doing an incredible job," Trump said, citing crime statistics. "We're going to talk about ideas how we can do it better and how we can do it if possible in a much more gentle fashion."