The Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously Monday to recommend a full posthumous pardon of George Floyd for a 2004 drug conviction, according to hearing minutes provided by the board to CNN.
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.”
Floyd died in May 2020 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes. Chauvin was found guilty of Floyd’s murder in April and was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison 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,” Kim Ogg, the Harris County district attorney, said in a statement.
The ultimate decision on whether to grant Floyd clemency rests with Gov. Greg Abbott, Ogg said. CNN has reached out to the governor’s office for comment on whether a pardon will be issued.
Goines arrested Floyd on February 5, 2004, alleging at the time that Floyd possessed crack cocaine “and that Floyd had provided the drugs to an unnamed ‘second suspect’ who had agreed to sell the drugs to the undercover Goines. The ‘second suspect’ was not arrested, Goines noted in his offense report, “in a [sic] attempt to further the narcotic trafficing [sic] in this area.”
Goines’ attorney, Nicole DeBorde, told CNN in April, “We stand by the original case. We certainly sympathize with Mr. Floyd’s cause, but that doesn’t change the fact that his former conviction was a legitimate one.”
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, Ogg told CNN. The raid left two people dead and five police officers injured.
Goines, a 35-year law enforcement veteran, was indicted on two charges of felony murder and tampering with a government record, Ogg said.
DeBorde, Goines’ attorney, told CNN her client pleaded not guilty to all charges.
CNN’s Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.