92-year-old booked into jail after fracking protest

A new state law makes the city's ban unenforceable, but that didn't stop one senior citizen from making her voice heard.

DENTON — A 92-year-old woman was taken into custody and booked into the Denton jail for a short time on Tuesday after protesting at a fracking site.

Violet Palmer said she knew that was a possibility when she joined her son and a small group of protesters outside a drilling operation on the west side of the city Tuesday morning.

"I did feel compelled," she said. "I feel like I must do something."

Palmer, who is blind, said the officers were courteous and she was never handcuffed. Police said it is unlikely charges will actually be pressed.

Palmer said she is outraged that a new state law from Austin essentially voids Denton's local ban on fracking, which was passed overwhelmingly by voters in November.

"Really, there is so little I can do, but I do it by protesting," she said.

At a City Council meeting Tuesday, debate ensued late into the night once again over what Denton should do about its current ban.

Three lawsuits are pending, and there is concern that the city may be in a financial fix if they continue to try and enforce a local ordinance that is void by state statute.

"Depending on what happens with these lawsuits, we're just getting started," said Council member Greg Johnson.


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