Houston Advocates Call Out Governor For Delay In Pardoning George Floyd

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A group of Houston advocates are calling out Texas Governor Greg Abbott as he remains silent on posthumously pardoning George Floyd.

Floyd was arrested in 2004 on now-questionable drug charges which came to light after new evidence about the arresting officer's practices emerged.

In October, the Texas Board of Parole and Pardons unanimously voted to posthumously wipe the arrest from Floyd's record, but Abbott –– who is running for reelection –– has yet to make a decision.

"I just don't want it to die on his desk," Allison Mathis, the Houston public defender who originally submitted the clemency paperwork to the state board, told KSAT. "Up or down, one way or another, just give us an answer."

The Arresting Officer's Crimes

In 2004, George Floyd was arrested for allegedly selling $10 worth of cocaine. The arresting officer, Gerald Goines is now at the center of other crimes –– including lying on an affidavit in order to obtain a no-knock warrant in 2019, which ultimately to a botched raid that left two homeowners dead.

Goines and fellow officer Steve Bryant were arrested and charged with murder and violating the victims' Fourth Amendment rights. Following their arrests, the Harris County District Attorney's Office investigated more than 14,000 cases connected to the indicted officers' team, over 160 of which could be overturned as a result of the former officers' practices.

District Attorney Kim Ogg has already exonerated two men who were wrongfully convicted based on Goines' faulty policing.

The Political Road to Pardoning

Ogg and her office were among the first of the advocates to support Floyd's posthumous pardon given Goines' connection to Floyd's arrest and incarceration –– the late Floyd served one month per dollar of cocaine allegedly sold.

But, the DA has to wait on the Governor to make the pardon.

Abbott has publicly stated that he's reviewing the case, but has not made a move either way. After Floyd's murder in 2020, Abbott condemned the actions of Minneapolis law enforcement, calling the killing "senseless" and "reprehensible."

The Texas Republican even went to essentially endorse the Justice in Policing Act named after Floyd before pivoting to side with police officers. Still, the governor signed laws banning chokeholds just this year, leaving some wondering if his decision will come after mid term election season.

"Is he planning to wait until the GOP primaries are over ... when it's safe?" Cory Session, vice president of the Innocence Project of Texas said.

Session is working alongside Mathis on Floyd's pardoning and is personally connected to the work –– Session's brother, Timothy Cole, is the only other person to receive a posthumous pardon in the state of Texas.

"Justice delayed is justice denied, and in this case, it's being denied by Governor Greg Abbott," Session said.

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