May 20, 2024
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied a posthumous pardon for George Floyd on Thursday despite recommending the pardon last year.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied a posthumous pardon for George Floyd on Thursday despite recommending the pardon last year.

The board said it reconsidered its initial decision to recommend the pardon, which would have cleared Floyd of a drug conviction from 2004.

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“The Members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles have reconsidered their initial decision concerning your client’s application for a Full Pardon and/or Pardon for Innocence,” the one-page letter to Floyd’s lawyer, Allison Mathis, obtained by the Marshall Project said.

The letter did not include Floyd’s name, but Mathis told the Texas Tribune that it was related to her request for a full pardon on Floyd’s behalf that she filed last year. The letter also did not give a reason for its reversal, but the board withdrew its recommendation in December, citing “procedural errors.” Mathis can reapply for the pardon in two years.

“This was a chance for Texas to do a small, good thing: to take an apolitical stance that no matter who a person is, their rights need to be respected and an accurate record of their life is important,” Mathis told the outlet. “Last year, the board unanimously recommended that Mr. Floyd be granted a pardon, acknowledging that what happened to him was wrong. I have given no other facts or evidence for the board to consider, and it is unclear to me what happened to completely reverse their decision.”

Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis in 2020 when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes, pleaded guilty to selling less than half a gram of crack cocaine in a police sting in 2004. He was sentenced to 10 months in state prison, according to the outlet.

Houston narcotics officer Gerald Goines, who made the arrest, claimed Floyd had given the drugs to an unnamed informant, according to the outlet. However, Goines has since been charged in federal court for falsifying documents, including for falsely claiming on an affidavit that there was an informant in an unrelated case. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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Floyd’s death set off a wave of protests against police brutality and racism, including calls to defund the police.

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