Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hasn't given any public signs that he'll be granting a posthumous pardon to George Floyd this holiday season. AP News reports the Texas parole board, which is filled with many of Abbott's appointees, in October overwhelmingly recommended a pardon for Floyd's 2004 drug arrest.
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Floyd was arrested in Houston by a former police officer, officer Gerald Goines, whose record is no longer respected by prosecutors. He was arrested in a police sting for allegedly selling $10 worth of crack. He pleaded guilty to the charge and served 10 years in prison.
Floyd lived in Houston before moving to Minnesota, where his life was tragically cut short when ex-police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck during an arrest. His death incited a massive wave of Black Lives Matter protests and prompted a larger conversation on the flaws in the U.S. policing system.
“It doesn’t matter who you think George Floyd was, or what you think he stood for or didn’t stand for,” said Allison Mathis, a public defender in Houston who submitted Floyd’s pardon application, according to AP News. “What matters is he didn’t do this. It’s important for the governor to correct the record to show he didn’t do this.”
Every year around Christmas, the Texas governor grants a pardon to one of Texas' regular citizens, typically for minor offenses. A pardon in Floyd's case, according to supporters, would be a major step in righting some past wrongs in the state of Texas.
The case was one of many that prosecutors looked at in officer Goines' history. Goines was involved in a fatal 2019 drug raid, which left him facing murder charges for the death of a husband and wife. Goines is no longer with the Houston Police Department. Prosecutors said the former officer lied in order to obtain a search warrant for the raid. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has since dismissed more than 160 cases tied to Goines.
Abbott was present for Floyd's funeral and even met with several family members as he shopped the idea of a "George Floyd Act," a legal measure that would take aim at police brutality. While Abbott never publicly backed the movement, State Sen. Royce West pushed the act to the Senate. The senator says he feels Abbott should act on the recommendation of the parole board.
“As he’s always said, he is a law-and-order governor, and this would be following the law," West said, according to AP News.