The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is pushing to grant George Floyd a posthumous pardon for a 2004 drug charge.
Floyd died in Minneapolis last year. Last week, a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering Floyd while attempting to arrest him for passing counterfeit currency at a convenience store.
In 2004, Floyd pleaded guilty to a charge of delivery of a controlled substance after former Houston police officer Gerald Goines claimed he caught Floyd dealing cocaine. A Harris County public defender said in a request on Monday that Goines may have fabricated the evidence, and Floyd pleaded guilty to avoid a sentence harsher than the 10 months he served in state prison after.
“He was a good man who is missed dearly by friends and family,” Harris County public defender Allison Mathis wrote of Floyd in the request, according to the Houston Chronicle. “But this pardon is being sought because it is just and right to clear a conviction that is not supported by evidence with the new information that has come to light.”
District Attorney Kim Ogg announced her support for the pardon on Monday in a statement to KHOU 11.
“As part of our ongoing investigation of police corruption exposed by the Harding Street killings, we looked into posthumous relief for a 2004 drug conviction that ensnared George Floyd in the criminal justice system so long ago,” Ogg said. “Prosecutors determined in 2019 that Floyd had been convicted on the lone word of Gerald Goines, a police officer we could no longer trust; we fully support a request that the Governor now pardon George Floyd from that drug conviction.”
Authorities determined that Goines, who is charged with murder after two people died in a January 2019 police drug raid, may have fabricated evidence for hundreds of drug arrests. Prosecutors have dropped hundreds of cases involving Goines, according to USA Today.
Floyd’s death sparked a massive wave of protests and riots last year over alleged systemic racism in law enforcement. Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd last week, however, no evidence during the trial was shown to support allegations that Chauvin is racist or that racism contributed to Floyd’s death.
Prior to the verdict in Chauvin’s trial, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) traveled to Minneapolis to join protesters in calling for Chauvin to be found guilty. The U.S. lawmaker pushed activists to get “more confrontational” to get what they want.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict. We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And we’re looking to see if all of this [inaudible] that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd,” Waters said. “If nothing does not happen, then we know, that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice, but I am very hopefully and I hope that we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty. And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”
Asked what protesters should do, Waters responded, “We’ve got to get more active. [We’ve] got to get more confrontational. [We’ve] got to make sure that they know we mean business.”
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