Push for posthumous pardon of George Floyd fails
The name of George Floyd, whose death sparked police brutality protests and BLM riots across the US last year, was removed from the list of clemency recommendations submitted to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Abbott pardoned eight Texans on Thursday for crimes committed between 1965 and 2013.
The list of pardoned individuals notably excluded George Floyd, whose posthumous pardon for a 2004 drug conviction was recommended by the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles in October. The board eventually withdrew 25 clemency recommendations, including that of Floyd, blaming “procedural errors and lack of compliance with Board rules.”
“The Board will review and resolve procedural errors and issues related to any pending applications in compliance with their rules,” Abbott’s Press Secretary Renae Eze said, adding that the governor “did not have the opportunity to consider” Floyd’s case. Eze said Abbott will consider all clemency recommendations submitted to him in the future.
The Board’s chair, David Gutierrez, complained in a December 16 letter that an “unusually high number” of recommendations was initially sent to Abbott this year, and asked the staff to “explain this aberration.”
Floyd, a black man who spent most of his life in Texas, was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, during a botched arrest attempt in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May 2020. Floyd’s death sparked months-long protests against police brutality and for racial justice across the US and abroad, as well as riots and clashes with police. In June, Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for killing Floyd.
Urging Abbott to pardon Floyd, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg argued in April that an officer who arrested Floyd in 2004 was himself later charged with murder in connection with an unrelated drug raid.
Allison Mathis, a public defender who applied for Floyd’s pardon, told The Dallas Morning News on Thursday that Abbott and his team “let their politics triumph over the right thing to do and what clearly is justice.” She said that she was unaware that something was wrong with the application process.