Posthumous Pardon Requested for George Floyd's 2004 Drug Arrest

Posthumous Pardon Requested for George Floyd’s 2004 Drug Arrest

A George Floyd mural in Houston (Image: Youtube/@ABC13Houston)

A posthumous pardon request has been issued in Houston in relation to George Floyd’s 2004 drug arrest.

In the wake of Derek Chauvin’s recent conviction for the death of Floyd, a request was submitted to Texas officials Monday on his behalf, ABC News reports. The pardon is in relation to Floyd’s 2004 drug arrest performed by a former cop who has since been indicted following a deadly drug raid.

Ex-cop Gerald Goines arrested Floyd years before his death in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Goines took Floyd into custody in February 2004 and charged him for selling $10 worth of crack in a police sting. Floyd pleaded guilty to the drug charge and was sentenced to 10 months in state jail.

But Goines indictment related to a 2019 drug raid has put his case history under review, The Guardian reports. The former police officer is facing two counts of felony murder and other charges in both state and federal court over the drug raid that killed Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, 58. Goines is accused of lying to obtain a warrant to search the couple’s home by claiming that an anonymous informant bought heroin there. However, Goines later admitted there was no informant and that he was actually the one who bought the drugs from the couple.

Goines and about a dozen current and former officers who were tied to the deadly drug raid have been indicted and are facing charges following the fatal shooting of the couple. As a result, over 160 of Goines’ convictions have been thrown out, with Floyd’s 2004 drug arrest receiving a pardon request.

Allison Mathis of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office accuses Goines of making up a confidential informant in Floyd’s case and “no one bothered to question the word of a veteran cop against that of a previously-convicted Black man.”

A posthumous for Floyd “wouldn’t erase the memory, personal or institutional, of this thing that happened to him, or the things that would happen to him later… It would show that the state of Texas is interested in fundamental fairness, in admitting its mistakes, and in working to increase the accountability for police officers who break our trust and their oaths, and harm our people rather than serve them,” Mathis said, as noted by USA Today.

Several of Floyd’s family members and friends wrote letters in support of the pardon, including Floyd’s former counselor Maureen Bishop who recalled Floyd once telling her about his arrest by Goines. Allegedly, Floyd didn’t understand why the ex-cop “would lie about innocent people. He said that he had prayed to God that he would help him find peace to forgive him.”

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg cited Floy’d 2004 drug arrest as being “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.”