Houston Police Chief Pleads with People to Understand Protesters' 'Righteous Anger': They Are 'Truly Hurting'

Acevedo recalls anger and tension when the police formed a skirmish line to prevent protestors from climbing onto the freeway. Acevedo wants everyone to exercise their First Amendment rights, but he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.

“I’m responsible for them. The police department is responsible for the safety of the people protesting,” Acevedo says. “People were angry. There was a lot of yelling. ….  I had to get through the crowd. I said, ‘Wait a minute, we are going to let you march anywhere you want to march. I will keep that promise. But you have to let me keep you safe."

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When an angry crowd joined Saturday’s protest throwing water bottles and setting off firecrackers, Acevedo was proud to watch the people he was marching alongside refuse to let the peaceful protest change directions.

“I will take these memories with me to the grave,” he says. “I’m proud to have been there.”

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

•Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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