George Floyd may get posthumous pardon for 2004 drug charge as Texas attorney's office applies to get it dropped
GEORGE Floyd may get a posthumous pardon for a 2004 drug charge after a Texas attorney filed the application on behalf of his family on Monday.
Allison Mathis of the Harris County Public Defender's Office claims that Floyd was convicted after the cop who arrested him “manufactured” a source to boost his case against him.
It accuses veteran officer Gerald Goines, who is black, of using false information to ensure Floyd’s conviction.
The attorney claims the pardon application is based on rectifying Goines’ alleged behavior.
The officer is currently under investigation for allegedly falsifying information and sources in the conviction of up to 69 people, ABC11 reports.
"This is about honoring the memory of George Floyd, as well as about correcting the records of the State of Texas," Mathis told CNN in a statement.
"We can't have confidence in the integrity of the convictions obtained by Officer Goines. George Floyd suffered at the hands of a corrupt and racist system throughout his life, not just at the end."
Floyd was arrested and charged on February 5, 2004, with the delivery of a controlled substance.
He was accused of selling $10 worth of drugs, USA Today reports.
Arresting officer Goines had claimed at the time that Floyd was in possession of crack cocaine.
He also claimed Floyd “had provided the drugs to an unnamed 'second suspect' who had agreed to sell the drugs to the undercover Goines.”
“The 'second suspect' was not arrested, Goines noted in his offense report, 'in a [sic] attempt to further the narcotic trafficing [sic] in this area,’” the pardon application claims.
Goines has been under investigation after a high-profile case known as the Harding Street killings in 2019.
NO KNOCK WARRANT
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told CNN that Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife Rhogena Nicholas, 58, were killed and five officers injured after Goines lied to obtain a no-knock warrant.
He told a judge that a criminal informant purchased heroin from a man at the address in southeast Houston.
The officer also told the judge that the man selling drugs was known to have a gun.
He later admitted there was no informant and he bought the drugs himself.
Goines, a 35-year veteran, was indicted on two charges of felony murder and tampering with a government record, Ogg said.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
After the indictment, the Harris County District Attorney's Office agreed to post-conviction relief for some of the defendants arrested by Goines.
Hundreds of cases were dropped as it emerged he had allegedly lied about informants and evidence throughout his career.
Floyd was originally contacted about Goines’ case in March 2019 using a previous Houston address.
He had already moved to Minnesota in 2014 and was allegedly unaware of the charges brought against his arresting officer.
"It is our contention that Goines did the same thing in George Floyd's case as he did in the cases of so many others,” the application for his pardon states.
“He made up the existence of a confidential informant who provided crucial evidence to underpin the arrest and no one bothered to question the word of a veteran cop against that of a previously-convicted black man.”
Matthis has said that the pardon “wouldn’t erase the memory, personal or institutional, of this thing that happened" to George Floyd.
Yet she said that 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.”
Ogg has also called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to issue a pardon.
“Prosecutors determined in 2019 that Floyd had been convicted on the lone word of Gerald Goines, a police officer we could no longer trust,” she said.
“We fully support a request that the Governor now pardon George Floyd from that drug conviction."
An attorney for Goines told CNN that the pardon application was based on "information that has not been finalized.”
“It’s unfortunate really,” said Nicole DeBorde, adding that it "doesn't raise any new evidence whatsoever.”
"Essentially, they're alleging that indictments, which are just pending accusations, should support that the underlying conviction be undone," DeBorde added.
"We stand by the original case. We certainly sympathize with Mr. Floyd's cause, but that doesn't change the fact that his former conviction was a legitimate one."
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, while being arrested for allegedly using a fake $20 bill.
One of the officers involved in his arrest, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of his murder last week.
The three other officers will stand trial in August.
Floyd’s death had sparked months of global protests after a video of his death was widely shared.
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