As Vice News reported, snipers were positioned on rooftops at the burial to ensure there was “a quick response to rioting and looting.” “Overwatch units” and aircrafts from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI were also sent by authorities to survey the crowd.
Agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and members from the agency’s tactical unit BORTAC were welcomed to the city, and drones were “used to capture footage of the event for post-operational purposes.”
Pearland officials, who were reportedly concerned about potential civil unrest at the burial, were preparing for the worst-case scenario and ready to open fire if they had to.
According to the confidential report, snipers were “geared up” and “ready to deploy” if protesters used “verbal aggressive language” or threw empty water bottles at them. They were given permission to use “less lethal/gas munitions” in the event that full water bottles and bricks were tossed. For more aggressive behavior, “deadly force” was authorized.
Joshua Lee, the city’s spokesperson, explained Pearland’s management of the burial. “The mission of all personnel was to provide a safe environment for the Floyd family to conduct their service in peace,” he said. “Just because nothing happened doesn’t mean there weren’t credible threats. We plan for a variety of potential outcomes to be as prepared as possible.”
The FBI’s Houston division added, “FBI assistance was provided to the Pearland Police Department at the request of that agency for the purpose of maintaining and ensuring the safety of the participants and the general public.”
Floyd’s family was reportedly unaware of the sniper units at the burial.
Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on his neck and suffocated him. His death sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the country.