The city and protest organizers asked people to protest peacefully.
Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross, Police Chief Wayne Nero, other GPD officers and City Manager David Morgan were on site in support of the protest.
“I’m honored to stand with our community as we protest the injustices and racism so prevalent in our society,” Ross said in a city of Georgetown Facebook post. “These protests are for a just cause that must be heard, and I want the community to know we are listening. We, as a government and as a community, have much more work to do to acknowledge and address the inherent racism in our city. We won’t get there—we won’t see real change—without one another, without our whole community joining together.”
In response to Wednesday’s protest, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said, “Now is the time to listen, and I am listening.”
Nero said in a post he has been talking with concerned community members in an effort to listen and learn and is seeking the right leaders to join him in finding ways to make a difference.
"The very thought of a member of my community being afraid of one of our officers makes me sick to my stomach—but I understand," he said. "A statement from me isn’t going to change anything—only action will do that."
An additional event, “A prayer for black lives lost to police violence,” is planned for June 7 at 3 p.m. in front of the courthouse. City officials, Nero and other officers said they plan to be at weekend events as well.
Protests have taken place in cities across the nation after George Floyd died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while in police custody May 25. Floyd was handcuffed and lying face-down on the street. Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Three other police officers—Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane—were involved in Floyd’s arrest. Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a market.
The four officers were fired a day after the death, and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Two autopsies have ruled the manner of death for Floyd to be homicide.