Houston, TX – The Harris County Public Defender’s Office on Monday submitted a posthumous request for a pardon for George Floyd on a 2004 drug conviction and the district attorney supported it.
Floyd was arrested in Houston in February of 2004 after he sold $10 worth of crack to undercover Houston Police Officer Gerald Goines, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 months in a state jail.
Goines, who has since retired from the police force, is currently facing two felony murder charges in connection with a deadly drug raid.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Goines had allegedly provided “some material untruths or lies” to obtain a search warrant that led to the deadly gun battle, NBC News reported at the time.
Chief Acevedo said that while police had reason to investigate the targeted house, Goines concocted false information to secure the warrant for the raid.
Prosecutors have dismissed more than 160 convictions tied to Goines since his arrest, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Allison Mathis, who filed the pardon request for the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, said that Floyd pleaded guilty to avoid a possible 25-year sentence because of his past criminal history.
Mathis alleged in her posthumous pardon application to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that Goines had made up a confidential informant in Floyd’s case, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
She wrote that “no one bothered to question the word of a veteran cop against that of a previously-convicted black man.”
Mathis told the board that a pardon “wouldn’t erase the memory, personal or institutional, of this thing that happened to him, or the things that would happen to him later… It would show that the state of Texas is interested in fundamental fairness, in admitting its mistakes, and in working to increase the accountability for police officers who break our trust and their oaths, and harm our people rather than serve them,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
A counselor who worked with Floyd in 2012 wrote to the pardon board that he told her back then he didn’t understand why Goines “would lie about innocent people.”
“He said that he had prayed to God that he would help him find peace to forgive him,” Maureen Bishop claimed in her letter, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has expressed her support for the posthumous pardon.
Ogg said Floyd was convicted “on the lone word of Gerald Goines, a police officer we could no longer trust,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
“We fully support a request that the governor now pardon George Floyd from that drug conviction,” the district attorney confirmed.
It wasn’t known how long it would take the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to review Mathis’ request and make a decision, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The majority of the board members would have to approve the request and the board has to send its recommendation to the governor.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott would have to give final approval before the posthumous pardon could be granted, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Floyd died as he was being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020.
He died after officers pinned him to the pavement in a prone position for more than nine minutes.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide riots and reignited Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and third-degree manslaughter for the death of Floyd.