Texas parole board votes to recommend posthumous pardon for George Floyd

Texas has only issued a posthumous pardon on one other occasion.

A George Floyd mural in Minneapolis at the site where he died last May. (Lorie Shaull/Flickr)

The Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously last week to recommend a posthumous pardon for George Floyd, CNN first reported.

Floyd’s family filed an application for the pardon in April with the help of Allison Mathis of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, who said that the request for a posthumous pardon was not based on Floyd’s guilt or innocence. Rather, the arresting officer in Floyd’s Texas case allegedly had a history of manufacturing “the existence of confidential informants to bolster his cases against innocent defendants.”

The conviction stemmed from a February 2004 arrest where Houston police officer Gerald Goines alleged that Floyd possessed crack cocaine and was providing the substance to another suspect who had agreed to sell it to Goines.

Goines was the alleged architect of a high-profile 2019 drug raid that resulted in two deaths. The ex-officer admitted to falsifying information in the search warrant that was used for the raid, according to the Associated Press, and has been charged with two counts of murder.

“Prosecutors determined in 2019 that Floyd had been convicted on the lone word of Gerald Goines, a police officer we could no longer trust; we fully support a request that the Governor now pardon George Floyd from that drug conviction,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told CNN in April.

In an April letter to the parole board, Ogg said she did not “support the integrity of Mr. Floyd’s conviction” and agreed that “these circumstances warrant a posthumous pardon.”

“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,” Ogg said last week.

Ben Crump, the Floyd family attorney, urged Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “to act swiftly” on the recommendation. He also accused the Texas Legislature of “leaving undone the hard but necessary work of protecting residents from unacceptable police violence.”

“Tens of thousands of Black lives are ruined by a criminal justice system that uses the war on drugs to target Black people,” Crump continued.

Notably, officer Goines is also black.

Texas has only issued a posthumous pardon on one other occasion, which was a 1986 rape case where the defendant was cleared by DNA evidence in 2008.

The city of Minneapolis settled the Floyd family’s wrongful death suit earlier this year for a record $27 million.

Floyd’s autopsy revealed the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.


Megan Olson
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Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.