Texas parole board recommends pardon for George Floyd, request needs approval from governor

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The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday recommended that George Floyd receive a pardon for a 2004 drug arrest in Houston involving a former police officer charged with murder in a separate case.

The seven-member board announced the news in a letter to Allison Mathis, an assistant public defender in the Harris County Public Defender’s office. Mathis filed a clemency application on behalf of Floyd earlier this year.

“The Members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles have completed their consideration of your client’s application requesting a Full Pardon and have voted to recommend clemency,” the board wrote. “The case is being forwarded to the Governor for final disposition.”

The fate of the pardon rests with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

“A man was set up by a corrupt police officer intent on securing arrests rather than pursuing justice. No matter what your political affiliation is, no matter who that man was in his life or in his death, that is not something we should stand for in the United States or in Texas,” Mathis said.

Floyd, who grew up in Houston, was arrested by officer Gerald Goines in February 2004 for allegedly selling $10 worth of crack. He later pleaded guilty to a drug charge and was sentenced to 10 months in jail. 

His May 2020 death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin set off a nationwide reckoning on police reform and racial injustice. Chauvin was convicted of unintentional second-degree murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison for Floyd’s death in June. 

“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,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. 

Goines, 57, is charged with murder and other crimes for a deadly 2019 drug raid in which Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, were killed.

He allegedly lied to obtain the warrant for the raid and 160 drug convictions tied to him have since been dismissed. Other officers connected to the raid have also been indicted. 

A George Floyd mural in Minneapolis, Minn. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles is recommending Floyd receive a pardon for a 2004 drug arrest in Houston. 

Mathis said she is hopeful Abbott will grant the pardon. 


“I also hope that he, and the Texas Legislature, will work more stridently toward reforming the integrity of the racist, classist criminal justice system in Texas,” she said. 

Fox News has reached out to Mathis and Abbott’s office. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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