September 19, 2021

Texas Democrat says he fears ‘retaliation’ for leaving state

Texas State Representative Jarvis D. Johnson lashed out at law enforcement officers and the “fanatic[s] of the Republican Party” during a recent interview where he talked about fleeing the state — under threat of arrest — to deprive the state legislature of a quorum.

Johnson’s comments were made Sunday on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart” where he said he was specifically concerned about rural state troopers that might take orders from Gov. Greg Abbott (R), according to Fox News.

The Texas representative is concerned that law enforcement might follow Abbott’s orders to “round up” the Texas lawmakers who fled the state so they wouldn’t have to vote (or allow Republicans to vote) on election legislation. 

Capehart asked Johnson to specifically talk about a warning he gave his son about not driving in Texas due to the lawmaker’s assertion that law enforcement might be ready to “retaliate.”

“And one of the things you told me is that you have told your son to not drive in Texas, because of your concern about retaliation on the part of Governor Abbott against you. Can you just talk a little bit about that?” Capehart asked.

Johnson delved straight into his emotional telling of Abbott’s order to “round us up” and “corral us up,” which came days ago:

“The governor put out the call and he said that he was going to round us up and corral us up and bring us back. And we’ve watched all across this country when there’s a leader that does something like this, that there are people in their party that will take this and run with it,” Johnson said.

“And so, my son drives my car, which has state plates. And I just don’t want some rural cop, or some fanatic of the Republican Party that listens to Governor Abbott, as they say they need to bring us back because we’re fugitives.”

While Abbott did say Democrats who left Texas would be arrested, they can only be taken into custody if they are within the state’s boundaries. The governor’s attempt to bring Democrats back was an effort to get some laws passed during the two-week special session the governor called to pass the election bill.

However, Johnson pointed firmly at law enforcement saying that he was concerned a Republican official would “act as the hero” and arrest his son saying, “I do know what’s going on with most of the Republican Party, when they want to take the law into their own hands and act as the hero and say, ‘we rounded one up.'”

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