State Watch

Posthumous pardon recommendation for George Floyd withdrawn by Texas parole board

A posthumous pardon for George Floyd, who died under the knee of a Minnesota police officer last year, was among a group of 25 pardon recommendations that were withdrawn by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, The Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday.

The recommendations that were withdrawn “contained procedural errors and lack of compliance with Board rules,” according to Renae Eze, the press secretary for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R)

Allison Mathis, assistant public defender at the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, told The Hill in an email that she had been notified of the development by a reporter with The Dallas Morning News.

“The Board has not provided me with any information about what was wrong with my application, which was vetted by their compliance review prior to being voted on several months ago, and I’ve heard nothing at all from the governor’s office,” Mathis said in an email.

“I am extremely suspicious that this is an act of political theater intended to deny the truth about what happened to Mr. Floyd in the State of Texas until it is more convenient for Mr. Abbott personally,” she added. 

The move appears to be a reversal from October, when the Texas board voted 7-0 to recommend a posthumous pardon for Floyd, who had been arrested in 2004 during a sting operation for selling $10 worth of crack cocaine. He served 10 months in prison.

However, cases connected to Gerald Goines, the officer who arrested Floyd in 2004, are being reviewed again by prosecutors over allegations that he mishandled arrests.

Eze said pardon recommendations are determined by the state board, with the governor then granting final approval. 

“The Board will review and resolve procedural errors and issues related to any pending applications in compliance with their rules,” Eze said in a statement. “As a result of the Board’s withdrawal of the recommendation concerning George Floyd, Governor Abbott did not have the opportunity to consider it. Governor Abbott will review all recommendations that the Board submits for consideration.”

Floyd could still receive a posthumous pardon if the board reviews the application again and comes to a different conclusion, according to the Morning News.

The Hill has reached out to the Texas parole board for comment.

— Updated at 6:25 p.m.

Tags George Floyd Greg Abbott Greg Abbott Pardon Texas
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