Color of Change, Innocence Project call for Texas to posthumously pardon George Floyd

Gerald Goines, the ex-Houston officer who arrested Floyd, is currently facing charges on two murder counts.

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On the first anniversary of his murder, Color Of Change and The Innocence Project of Texas jointly launched an online petition calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue a posthumous pardon to George Floyd.

The petition calls on Texas officials to follow the recommendations of the Harris County Commissioners Court and pardon Floyd for a wrongful 2004 drug conviction.

Color Of Change and The Innocence Project of Texas jointly launched an online petition calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott (left) and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue a posthumous pardon to George Floyd (right) on the first anniversary of his murder. (Photos by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images and courtesy of Ben Crump Law)

Floyd was convicted on drug charges in Houston, Texas, and he spent 10 months in jail as a result. After new evidence came to light — revealing misconduct by the police officer who arrested him — the conviction was overturned but the charge remains on Floyd’s record, even after his death.

According to the petition, Gerald Goines, the now-former Houston Police narcotics officer who arrested Floyd, “is currently facing charges on 2 counts of felony murder, as well as charges in state and federal court, for killing 2 people during a drug raid in 2019.” Local news reports say its possible 69 people may have been wrongfully convicted from that single raid based on false evidence Goines presented.

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Harris County Commissioners Court approved a resolution in support of pardoning Floyd last month. They submitted the request to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. But to receive an official pardon, the board must send a recommendation to Abbott for his signature.

“One year after nationwide protests shifted the public discourse on racial justice in America, the system has yet to provide closure to George Floyd’s loved ones for another major injustice,” said Scott Roberts, senior director of criminal justice and democracy campaigns at Color Of Change.

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“From his wrongful conviction on phony drug charges to his untimely death at the hands of police officers, George Floyd’s life holds too many examples of how anti-Black, violent and corrupt American policing can be,” Roberts said. “A posthumous pardon would serve as an important recognition of the many ways the war on drugs has brutally targeted Black people and unjustifiably incarcerated millions.”

Those who sign the petition will add their name to a letter addressed to Abbott that reads, in part: “Dear Governor Greg Abbot and Texas Parole Board, I’m urging you to grant George Floyd a posthumous pardon. Mr. Floyd was falsely accused of a crime by a corrupt police officer who is now under investigation for his numerous crimes.”

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“I’m counting on you to do what’s right,” it continues, “and remove this stain from George Floyd’s and Texas’s record.”

In a statement, Cory D. Session, senior vice president of The Innocence Project of Texas, said succinctly: “All who seek Justice shall have Justice, even after death. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.”

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