Local officials in Houston voted unanimously to recommend that George Floyd be given a posthumous pardon for a low-level 2004 drug charge.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles said it had voted 7-0 to recommend the pardon for George Floyd’s 2004 drug conviction. The recommendation will now go to Texas Governor Greg Abbott who will have the final say over the matter.
George Perry Floyd Jr. was an African-American man who was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, 2020, during an arrest after a store clerk suspected George may have used a counterfeit $20 bill.
Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on George’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, the black man lost consciousness after repeatedly claiming of not being able to breathe, he passed away at the scene.
In a letter sent Monday to Floyd’s one-time public defender Allison Mathis, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles wrote it has “completed their consideration of your client’s application requesting a Full Pardon and have voted to recommend clemency.”
Allison filed the request in April, writing in the petition that a “pardon is being sought because it is just and right to clear a conviction that is not supported by evidence.”
Floyd was arrested in February of 2004 for selling $10 worth of crack cocaine to a police officer in a sting operation. The officer who arrested Floyd, Gerald Goines, is currently facing two counts of felony murder in connection to a 2019 drug raid in which a husband and wife were killed.
Prosecutors allege that Officer Goines lied about drug transactions that were taking place in the home that was raided in order to obtain a no-knock warrant.
The scandal prompted the Harris County District Attorney to review at least 1,400 criminal cases tied to Goines. Several other officers working in Goines’ narcotics unit have also been indicted.
Ogg released a statement on Monday supporting the Board of Pardons and Paroles’ recommendation to grant Floyd clemency.
“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,” Ogg’s statement said.
Meanwhile, Allison praised the board’s decision.
“A man was set up by a corrupt police officer intent on securing arrests rather than pursuing justice,” she said. “No matter what your political affiliation is, no matter who that man was in his life or in his death, that is not something we should stand for in the United States or in Texas.”
Ben Crump, attorney for the Floyd family, urged the governor to grant the full pardon.
“This drug charge, which led to George Floyd’s conviction based on false evidence, helped to unravel his life,” Crump said. “Similarly, tens of thousands of Black lives are ruined by a criminal justice system that uses the war on drugs to target Black people, force them into felony pleas, incarcerate them, take away their voting rights, and destroy their families.”
After George Floyd’s death, protests against police brutality, especially towards black people, quickly spread across the United States and globally. As he was dying, he said, “I can’t breathe,” which was used as a rallying cry during subsequent protests.
In June, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for the murder of Floyd. He was convicted in April on all counts in the killing of Floyd, including second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.
Three other police officers charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter are scheduled to go on trial next year.