Following the May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd, Austin, Texas, like cities across the US, saw tens of thousands of people participate in George Floyd protests taking to the streets to oppose the blatant police brutality, racial injustice, and inequality.
Now, a group of 18 Austin police officers who fired “less lethal” bean bag ammunition into crowds at George Floyd protests now face charges for the actions they took during the demonstrations that left at least three dozen people hospitalized.
On Wednesday (February 9), the Austin American-Statesman reported that a Travis County grand jury is currently determining if the officers’ use of force was justifiable.
Attorneys for the officers claim that during the near month-long protests, the officers faced objects being thrown at them and responded with “legal” use of force to defend themselves and others.
The grand jury’s decision is expected to come out in a few weeks. According to the newspaper, the grand jury could charge some officers and not others or not issue indictments at all.
All but one of the officers involved in the case remains on administrative duty.
The trial comes roughly nine months after Derek Chauvin was convicted by a jury in Floyd’s murder in a state trial. Last month, the former cop pleaded guilty to the federal civil rights charges against him, bypassing this upcoming trial, and potentially extending his prison sentence
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001