Oct 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas board recommends posthumous pardon for George Floyd in 2004 case

George Floyd.

Flowers, signs and balloons near a makeshift memorial to George Floyd near the spot where he died while in custody in Minneapolis. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday recommended a full posthumous pardon for George Floyd for a 2004 drug charge he received and served 10 months in prison for in Houston.

Why it matters: The decision on whether to grant clemency for the charge now lies with Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who must approve or reject the state board's decision.

Context: The Harris County Public Defender’s Office applied for clemency in April.

The big picture: Floyd, whose killing at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin sparked global protests in 2020, grew up in Houston and was arrested there in 2004 during a police sting operation after he sold $10 worth of crack, AP reported.

  • The police officer who arrested him, Gerald Goines, is now facing two counts of murder charges following a 2019 drug raid. He was accused of having lied to justify warrants in the raid.
  • An attorney with the Harris County Public Defender's office alleged Goines fabricated a confidential informant in Floyd’s case and "no one bothered to question the word of a veteran cop against that of a previously convicted Black man."

Of note: Floyd pleaded guilty to avoid a more-severe sentencing because of his past criminal history, the attorney said.

"We lament the loss of former Houstonian George Floyd and hope that his family finds comfort in Monday’s decision by the Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend clemency for a 2004 conviction involving former Houston Police Department Officer Gerald Goines."
— Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg statement
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