In 2004, George Floyd was one of dozens arrested at the words of Houston narcotics officer Gerald M. Goines, who said he saw Mr. Floyd hand over a “dime rock” of crack cocaine during an undercover drug purchase.
But after a botched drug raid ended in the death of a couple at their Houston home in 2019, Mr Goines, who is now retired, has become the center of a police scandal. Prosecutors say he fabricated evidence to carry out the raid, including inventing an informant, and charged him with two counts of murder. He also faces federal civil rights charges, but has denied the allegations.
Now, the state parole board has recommended a posthumous pardon in the Houston case for Mr. Floyd, whose murder in an unrelated Minneapolis arrest in 2020 sparked a nationwide debate over race and race. preserve the order.
The pardon was requested by the Harris County Public Defender’s Office and approved by District Attorney Kim Ogg. His office has identified more than 150 people convicted in cases involving Mr. Goines based on the presentation of false evidence, a spokesperson said.
The council’s vote for a pardon on Monday was unanimous, but a final decision will be made by Gov. Greg Abbott. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr Floyd first fought the charges, then agreed to a plea deal in the case and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, civil rights lawyers who represent members of the Floyd family, called on the governor to grant a pardon, but added that passing criminal justice reform measures was even more important. “Like the US Senate, the Texas legislature has overlooked the difficult but necessary work of protecting residents from unacceptable police violence,” they wrote in a statement.
According to a Texas Monthly report, Texas has granted a posthumous pardon only once, in a rape case in which the accused was cleared by DNA evidence.
Nicole DeBorde, lawyer for Mr Goines, said he had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. She said prosecutors’ decision to overturn convictions in his previous cases was a way to bolster the criminal case against him in the drug raid.
“There is no new evidence of any kind to indicate that there is any misconduct or a problem with any of these previous arrests,” she said.