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Texas board recommends posthumous pardon for George Floyd in 2004 case

The recommendation goes to Gov. Greg Abbott for final approval.
Sunlight falls on George Floyd Square on June 3, 2021, in Minneapolis.
Sunlight falls on George Floyd Square in Minneapolis on June 3.Stephen Maturen / Getty Images file

A Texas pardon board on Monday recommended posthumous clemency for George Floyd for a 2004 drug conviction in Houston for which he spent 10 months in jail.

The Harris County Public Defender’s Office applied for clemency in April.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 7-0 to approve the request, Timothy McDonnell, a spokesman for the board, said in an email.

“The board does not conduct interviews regarding individual clemency recommendations. A recommendation is rendered on each case after the totality of information is considered,” McDonnell said.

The recommendation goes to Gov. Greg Abbott, who holds the final say on granting the pardon. Abbott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We lament the loss of former Houstonian George Floyd and hope that his family finds comfort in Monday’s decision,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “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.”

Floyd was arrested in Houston — where he grew up — in February 2004 by former Houston police officer Gerald Goines for selling $10 worth of crack in a police sting, The Associated Press reported.

Floyd pleaded guilty to a drug charge and was sentenced to 10 months in a state jail, the AP reported.

Goines was charged with two counts of murder in 2019, accused of having lied to justify warrants for a drug raid in which two people died and five officers were wounded, prosecutors said.

Goines was alleged to have fabricated information to obtain the search warrants on the belief that people in a home were dealing black tar heroin. The raid resulted in a shootout in which the house’s two occupants and their dog were killed.

Gaines went on to retire. However, Ogg, the district attorney, said at the time that her office would review more than 1,400 criminal cases spanning his decadeslong career.

Prosecutors said in 2019 that 27 of the cases, which were pending at the time, would be dropped.

Floyd, a Black man, was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, in May 2020. His death sparked international protests. 

Chauvin was convicted this year of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced in June to 22.5 years in prison. He is appealing the decision. He is also charged in federal court with violating Floyd's civil rights. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.