George Floyd portrait

Texas State Board of Pardons Votes To Approve Posthumous Pardon of George Floyd on Drug Charges

In a bit of good news for members of the family of George Floyd, the Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles has voted unanimously to recommend a full posthumous pardon of George Floyd for a 2004 drug conviction.

CNN’s Jennifer Henderson and Amir Vera reported that “an application for the pardon was filed in April on behalf of Floyd and his surviving family. In the application, Allison Mathis of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office said the request was filed because the arresting officer in Floyd’s case, Gerald Goines, ‘manufactured the existence of confidential informants to bolster his cases against innocent defendants.’”

In a statement following the Board of Pardons vote, Harris County district attorney Kim Ogg said, “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.”

County records show that Goines arrested Floyd on Feb. 5, 2004. The police report for the case alleges that Floyd was in possession of crack cocaine at the time of his arrest and that “Floyd had provided the drugs to an unnamed ‘second suspect’ who had agreed to sell the drugs to the undercover Goines.”

This second suspect was not arrested — and now appears to have never even existed. New allegations suggest that Goines may have illegally altered police records to make his cases appear stronger in court.

However, Goines’ attorney, Nicole DeBorde, defended her client’s record, saying the George Floyd police report contained no false information.

“We stand by the original case,” she told CNN. “We certainly sympathize with Mr. Floyd’s cause, but that doesn’t change the fact that his former conviction was a legitimate one.”

Henderson and Vera reported that “in 2019, Goines was involved in a high-profile case known as the Harding Street killings, in which he obtained a warrant for a ‘no-knock’ raid from a municipal judge under false pretenses” — a raid that ultimately left two people dead, and five police officers injured.

Following that incident, Goines, who had served in law enforcement for 35 years, was indicted on two charges of felony murder, as well as tampering with government records.

DeBorde maintains that her client is not guilty of all charges.

According to Henderson and Vera, “the ultimate decision on whether to grant Floyd clemency [now] rests with Gov. Greg Abbott.” Abbott has not yet commented publicly on the case.


Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


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