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Texas governor warns of out-of-state agitators, but protesters arrested in Austin were from here

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott warned during a press conference Tuesday that people are coming to Texas from outside of the state to protest violently.

“Some of the violence that we’re seeing is not being done by people who reside in Dallas or even in Texas,” he said at Dallas City Hall. “Instead, the violence is coming into Texas from across state lines.”

But in the Austin area, the vast majority of people arrested during weekend protests against systemic racism and police killings were locals, according to records from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

The Austin Police Department released on Monday the names of 53 people arrested in relation to the weekend’s protests; only two of those listed home addresses out of state (Florida and Illinois) according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Two of those arrested were recorded as “transient,” or people experiencing homelessness.

Most of the people arrested as part of the protests this past weekend listed homes in Austin or surrounding cities, including Pflugerville and Manor.

Abbott’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Politicians across the country have been making similar statements without evidence, including the mayors of Minneapolis and New York City, the latter eventually walking back his comments.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler told Community Impact that, ahead of this past weekend’s protests, he got word from the governor’s office that people were planning to come from outside of Austin to provoke violent responses from police.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.

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