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Posthumous pardon request for George Floyd submitted in Texas

A poster of George Floyd sits on a security fence as trial of Derek Chauvin goes on
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Texas officials on Monday received a posthumous pardon request for George Floyd, who was arrested for a drug charge years prior to his death, The Associated Press reported.

Floyd was arrested in 2004 by former police officer Gerald Giones for selling $10 worth of crack cocaine in a police sting operation. Giones currently faces two counts of felony murder for killing a Houston couple in a deadly drug raid in 2019, according to the AP.

Prosecutors in the case allege that Giones lied about obtaining a search warrant for the couples home, claiming an informant had bought heroin there. Prosecutors allege that Giones bought the drugs there himself. 

Harris County Public Defender Allison Mathis claimed that Giones made up a confidential informant in Floyd’s case as well, adding that no would bother to question a police officer’s word over a convicted black man. 

“[A pardon] 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 writes in the pardon application.

Floyd pleaded guilty to the charge to avoid a longer sentence in prison and received a 10-month stint in jail.

Giones, 56, is reportedly tied to more than 160 drug convictions that were dismissed by prosecutors, according to the AP.

Floyd’s family and friends have also written letters of support for the pardon request.

The news from Texas comes just one week after a Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on charges of murder and manslaughter in connection to Floyd’s death.

Chauvin was seen in bystander footage in May of last year kneeling on Floyd’s neck outside of a convenience store for several minutes until he became unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. 

The death of Floyd, then 46, and other Black Americans at the hands of police led to nationwide unrest in the summer of 2020. 

Chauvin’s conviction has brought the issue of police brutality and reform back to the forefront of national conversation, as lawmakers including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) work on policing legislation in Washington. 

Tags Cory Booker George Floyd Houston Karen Bass Texas Tim Scott

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