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One year after George Floyd's murder, most changes Texas protesters called for have not passed

Just two measures supporters call 'police reform' await governor Greg Abbott's signature, and the Texas 'George Floyd Act' is all but guaranteed failure.

SAN ANTONIO — A year after police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, most of the changes to policing that Texas protesters called for have not become law. 

As of Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott can sign two measures that supporters call 'police reform.'  

The legislative session ends on May 31. 

One bill would require law enforcement to call an ambulance for injured people they encounter and render first aid to that person while they wait for medics. 

Another bill clarifies that police officers must keep their body cameras rolling during investigations. 

That bill initially would have adjusted the state's castle doctrine, which allows residents to defend themselves from intruders. Lawmakers pitched the plan after Dallas police officer Amber Guyger killed Botham Jean in his apartment. 

Texas lawmakers split the omnibus 'George Floyd Act' into individual elements, most of which failed to pass. 

The legislature is expected to ban chokeholds and mandate that officers step-in and stop their colleagues from using excessive force. 

But Texas will not end qualified immunity, which can protect officers who've broken the law from lawsuits. The state will not create a uniform set of rules for disciplining misbehaving officers, and it is not likely to ban arrests for fine-only traffic offenses. 

"It's very disappointing, but it also shows there's so much more work that needs to be done," Fix SAPD deputy director Ananda Tomas said. "We can't lose this fire and this spark because then nothing changes." 

Tomas noted that Floyd's murder softened some hearts and sparked an unprecedented conversation about race in America. She says the ensuing protests prompted the San Antonio police union to make some concessions in contract negotiations with the city. 

"This pressure we've had in the past year is the only reason we've been able to get to where we're at," she said. "There's still work to do, but we're getting there incrementally." 

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