Support the #TexasGeorgeFloydAct

Support the #TexasGeorgeFloydAct and all its components!

From a likely false conviction by a corrupt narcotics officer to his death at the hands of police while other officers stood and watched, the case of George Floyd calls out for justice in many different ways. In conjunction with the George Floyd family and the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, Chairwoman Senfronia Thompson and Senator Royce West authored and filed the George Floyd Act (HB 88/SB 1224) to bring to Texas a range of reforms that will prevent others from experiencing the police misconduct that George Floyd and other black Texans have experienced.

What does the #TexasGeorgeFloydAct do?

Often, police conduct that people find horrifying is not technically misconduct because officers are acting as the law allows and within their training. No amount of additional training to current legal standards will improve outcomes for those who have been harmed or prevent future harm. The Texas George Floyd Act will improve the legal standards and give Texans back the rights an activist judiciary has eroded over decades.

  • Creates state cause of action for deprivation of rights under color of law, to address qualified immunity. When someone sues to establish that the law and training have violated their fundamental rights, the lawsuits are dismissed because police officers enjoy what is known as “qualified immunity.” Qualified immunity allows a court to dismiss a case before getting to the constitutional questions if the specific right has not been clearly established in a prior case. This is a catch 22 that has resulted in a diminishment of our individual rights. Also filed as HB 614.
  • Creates duty to intervene, duty to render aid, and duty to identify. Eliminates “duty” to arrest on every minor charge. Texas law makes it a “duty” of police to arrest on all charges, no matter how small, but it is NOT a duty to save a life or intervene when another officer is doing harm. Lawmakers have already heard testimony that local police agencies have policies requiring officers to intervene or render aid, but these policies are ineffective and there is no statewide standard or requirement. The Attorney General recently issued an opinion that Texas has no statutory duty to intervene even when interpreting several police requirements in the best possible light. Also filed as HB 832.
  • Support Texas George Floyd Act
    Police broke Gonzalez’ neck during an arrest for a public intoxication offense.
    Reduces excessive force.Texas’ lethal force statute is exceedingly broad and allows lethal force against a suspect who is “suspected” of a violent felony even when that person poses no immediate threat. This statutory framework explains better than anything else why DAs often can’t convict when officers harm people. The GFA prohibits chokeholds, limits lethal force to imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death, requires force to be proportionate to the circumstance and the seriousness of the underlying violation, requires officers to protect bystanders, and terminate lethal force as soon as the threat is lessened. Also filed as HB 831 and HB 833.
  • Disciplinary matrix.Requires violations of policy and law by police to be set out in a clear, progressive disciplinary matrix that cannot be overturned or changed by contract with police union. With adherence to matrix, discipline is presumed reasonable on appeal. Model will be produced in statewide process. Also filed as HB 829.
  • Requires corroboration for the testimony of an undercover police officer in narcotics cases (just as corroboration is already required for non-police informants.) George Floyd was among 160 people notified by Harris County that his old conviction on drug charges, based solely on the testimony of undercover narcotics officer Gerald Goines, could be overturned. He never got the notice. Also filed as HB 834 and SB 301 (Hinojosa)
  • Support the Texas George Floyd Act
    At the start of Sandra Bland’s tragic arrest, her only violation was failure to signal.
    Ends arrest for non-jailable fine only violations with some exceptions. Unnecessary arrests for fine only violations at traffic stops generate resistance because drivers guilty of minor infractions feel that an arrest is an abuse of authority. Officers know it is currently legal and command people to obey. The recent incident in Keller Texas illustrates the typical scenario. An officer asked Mr. Puentes for permission to search. Mr. Puentes said no. An officer walked around the car sniffing for marijuana but noted nothing. Without any other reason justifying a non-consent search, Mr. Puentes became arrested for his “wide right turn” and the officer conducted the search as authorized after any arrest. There were at least 64,100 such arrests in Texas reported by law enforcement in 2019. Although officers found nothing in their search, both Mr. Puentes and his father faced “resisting” charges and the incident escalated entirely out of control. Also filed as HB 830.

What can I do?

These bills will soon get a hearing and you can help in two ways:

  • Call the offices of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.Call the Austin offices of the members of this committee and tell them you want them to vote YES for HB 88 and all its component parts. Highlight any separate bill listed above that you find most compelling.

    When you call, ask for the staff member in charge of bills in the Homeland Security Committee. Try to speak directly to that person, but if they are unavailable leave a message.

    Be sure to say, “I am calling from [YOUR CITY] and I want the Representative to vote YES for HB 88, the Texas George Floyd Act and [any of the separate bills above]. I ask that you listen carefully to the testimony when the bill is heard in committee, because many Texans share my concern about the erosion of protections against police abuses in Texas.

    Chairman James White 512-463-0490
    Vice Chair: Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers 512-463-0464
    Rep. Vikki Goodwin 512-463-0652
    Rep. Sam Harless 512-463-0496
    Rep. Cole Hefner 512-463-0271
    Rep. Eddie Morales 512-463-0566
    Rep. Jared Patterson 512-463-0694
    Rep. Matt Schaefer 512-463-0584
    Rep. Tony Tinderholt 512-463-0624

  • Call your own lawmakers in both the House and Senate with the same message. Don’t know your Texas lawmakers? Find out Who Represents You!

Help expand the George Floyd Act Coalition!

More than 70 groups from around the state have formed a coalition in support of the Texas George Floyd Act and its component parts. Do you know groups in your area who might want to help the coalition organize witnesses to testify, support the bill on social media, educate people around the state about the bill and more? We are also seeking to expand our support among faith leaders. We need YOU to help us find more groups in your area.

If you know a group or a church or a faith leader who might want to learn more about the George Floyd Act and why its important, contact our policy coordinator at about an introduction.