Updated Dec 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas parole board withdraws George Floyd pardon recommendation

A mural that honors George Floyd at the Scott Food Mart corner store in Houston's Third Ward where Floyd grew up on June 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

A mural honoring George Floyd in Houston. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

George Floyd will not be posthumously pardoned for a 2004 Houston drug charge because the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles withdrew its recommendation, the Dallas Morning News first reported Thursday.

Driving the news: The board had recommended a full pardon for Floyd for the charge, for which he served 10 months in prison. A spokesperson for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told the Morning News that recommendation "contained procedural errors" and said there had been a "lack of compliance with Board rules."

  • "As a result of the Board's withdrawal of the recommendation concerning George Floyd, Governor Abbott did not have the opportunity to consider it," the spokesperson for the Republican governor added.

The big picture: Floyd, whose murder by a former Minneapolis police officer sparked global anti-racism protests last year, was arrested during a Houston police sting operation for selling $10 worth of crack, per AP.

  • The officer who arrested him, Gerald Goines, is facing two murder charges and has been accused of lying to justify warrants over a 2019 drug raid.
  • The Harris County Public Defender's office alleged Goines fabricated a confidential informant in Floyd's case.

What they're saying: Allison Mathis, a Houston public defender who applied for a posthumous pardon for Floyd, told the Morning News the recommendation withdrawal was "outrageous."

  • "Greg Abbott and his political appointees have let their politics triumph over the right thing to do and what clearly is justice," Mathis said.
  • "I expected an up or a down vote. I did not expect this kind of misconduct."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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