Texas governor makes decision on whether to pardon George Floyd

AUSTIN (AP) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has a holiday tradition of granting pardons. Greg Abbott grants pardons to a few ordinary citizens every Christmas, usually for minor offenses that were committed decades or years ago.

Texas governor makes decision on whether to pardon George Floyd

One name stands out: George Floyd.

Abbott has not yet indicated whether he will posthumously pardon Floyd for the 2004 Houston drug arrest made by an ex-officer whose police work isn't trusted by prosecutors. The Texas parole board, which is stacked with Abbott appointees, unanimously recommended Floyd's pardon in October.

The two-term Republican governor has not indicated whether he will grant the posthumous pardon. He is currently up for reelection 2022. Floyd, a Black man, lived in Houston for most of his life before moving to Minnesota where he was killed by a white officer. This led to an American reckoning about race and policing.

Allison Mathis, Houston's public defender, submitted Floyd's pardon request. "What matters is that he didn’t do this. The governor should correct his record and show that he did not do this.

Abbott spokeswoman did not respond to our requests for comment.

Pardons are granted to the rightful convicted and allow them to be forgiven in the eyes law. Floyd's family and supporters believed that a Texas posthumous pardon would demonstrate a commitment towards accountability.

Floyd was arrested in Houston in February 2004 for selling crack worth $10 in a police sting. Floyd pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment.

In the aftermath of a 2019 deadly drug raid that led to the death of a husband and wife, Gerald Goines was charged with murder. Prosecutors claim that Goines lied in order to obtain a search warrant for the 2019 raid, which left a husband-and-wife dead. The office of Harris County District attorney Kim Ogg has since dismissed over 160 drug convictions related to Goines.

Goines has pleaded guilty to the charges and Ogg's attorneys have accused him of initiating the review for political gain.

Abbott is facing several primary challengers from far-right parties, and his continued silence on Floyd's pardon has raised concerns by Mathis and others about whether political motives are involved. These charges have not been responded to by his office.

Abbott attended Floyd's Houston memorial service last year, where he met the family and proposed the "George Floyd Act", which would target police brutality. Abbott did not publicly support such a measure when lawmakers returned to Capitol months later. Instead, Republicans made funding for police a priority.

State Senator Royce West, a Democrat, who carried the George Floyd Act in the Senate, stated that he understood politics if Abbott waited until after the GOP primary election in March. He said that the governor should take note of the recommendation.

West stated, "As he has always said," he is a law-and-order governor. "And this would mean following the law."

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