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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

Go deeper

Kamala Harris picks new comms director

Jamal Simmons speaks onstage at Ad Week 2016. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York

Vice President Kamala Harris will select Jamal Simmons, a top Democratic Party operative and communications aide, to serve as her new communications director after Ashley Etienne's departure last year, a WH official confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Simmons is a respected Dem player and allies say that his relationships with the West Wing, journalists and leaders throughout the party will help him shape Harris' long-term goals and legacy. The news was first reported by The Hill.

Harris: “I don’t think about” whether Biden will run in 2024

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday that she and President Biden have not spoken about re-election plans and she doesn't "think about it."

Driving the news: "We do not talk about nor have we talked about re-election, because we haven't completed our first year and we're in the middle of a pandemic," Harris said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker