HOUSTON - More than a year after the death of George Floyd, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has recommended that he receive a posthumous full pardon for a felony drug conviction 17 years ago.
On Monday, the Board voted 7-0 to recommend clemency for the 2004 conviction, for which the Houston-native served 10 months in jail.
The final say on the decision now rests in the hands of Governor Greg Abbott.
"I hope that politics doesn't get too much in the way of this because I know that people have a lot of feelings about who George Floyd was and how he died. But that doesn't have anything to do with the fact that he was railroaded by a corrupt police officer and that there wasn't any evidence that he committed this crime," said Allison Mathis, the Harris County Public Defender who submitted the application for a full pardon in April.
Mathis said the officer who arrested Floyd in 2004 fabricated evidence.
That officer was former Houston Police Officer Gerald Goines, who's now charged with murder in connection to the deadly narcotics raid on Harding Street in 2019.
"There's some evidence that that even may be a big part of the reason he decided to leave Texas was because he felt like he couldn't get a fair shot here and that he had been railroaded by police here," Mathis said.
His cousin, Tera Brown, says that arrest was one of the reasons Floyd moved to Minneapolis.
"He talked about being disappointed that this had happened to him. Unfortunately, you find yourself in a situation that there’s not much you can do about it. He moved to the Minneapolis area because he wanted a fresh start and just a way to improve his life, improve himself," Brown said.
"This would be just another way to right a wrong," Brown continued.
Goines' case history has been under review, leading to hundreds of his convictions being dismissed.
After the board's announcement on Monday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg released the following statement:
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.
In a April 28, 2021 letter to the Board, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg stated, "We do not support the integrity of Mr. Floyd’s conviction and agree these circumstances warrant a posthumous pardon."
We urge Governor Abbott to follow the Board’s recommendation and grant clemency.