The Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously Monday to recommend a full posthumous pardon of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man murdered in May 2020 by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, for a 2004 drug conviction.
The pardon was requested by the Harris County Public Defender’s Office in April on behalf of Floyd and his surviving family, and endorsed by the district attorney, Kim Ogg. Gerald Goines arrested Floyd on February 5, 2004, alleging at the time that Floyd possessed crack cocaine “and that Floyd had provided the drugs to an unnamed ‘second suspect’ who had agreed to sell the drugs to the undercover Goines. The ‘second suspect’ was not arrested, Goines noted in his offense report, “in a [sic] attempt to further the narcotic trafficking [sic] in this area.” In the application, Allison Mathis of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office said the request was filed because the arresting officer in Floyd’s case, Gerald Goines, “manufactured the existence of confidential informants to bolster his cases against innocent defendants.”
Mr. Floyd and Mr. Goines “have come into the spotlight on opposite sides of the same issue: the vast unfairness of the United States’ criminal justice system, and specifically, the grotesque abuses of power by police officers,” Allison Mathis, a public defender, wrote in the 241-page pardon application. She went on to argue that granting the pardon would demonstrate that Texas was interested in “fundamental fairness” and increasing accountability for police officers “who break our trust and their oaths.”
The board’s vote on Monday was unanimous, but a final decision on whether to grant Floyd clemency will be made by Gov. Greg Abbott.