Color Of Change and The Innocence Project of Texas have launched an online petition calling on the governor of Texas and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant a posthumous pardon to George Floyd.
In 2004, Floyd was convicted on a drug charge for an alleged sale of $10 of crack cocaine in Texas.
“We know an arrest for such a small amount of drugs sounds ridiculous — and it is! However, the U.S’ racist “war on drugs” has always been used to disproportionately harass and arrest Black people, giving cops a green light to make arrests for even the most minimal amount of drugs,” the petition reads in part.
“Sadly, as we approach the one-year anniversary of the police murder of George Floyd, there are STILL charges on the books against him in Texas — despite the fact that he spent 10 months in jail for his conviction. Color Of Change, along with Mr. Floyd’s family and other advocates, are calling on the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott to posthumously pardon George Floyd.”
The petition comes two weeks after local officials in Texas unanimously passed a resolution to issue the pardon for Floyd on a drug charge from more than 15 years ago.
Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds until he died. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He will be sentenced in June.
Gerald Goines, the former Houston officer who arrested Floyd, is currently facing charges on two murder counts stemming from a botched raid. Officers say they discovered Goines fabricated a story about an informant to illegally obtain a warrant.
Since then, prosecutors have worked diligently to dismiss more than 160 drug convictions linked to Goines — but Floyd’s drug charge remains on his record.
Harris County Commissioners Court approved a resolution in support of the pardon and submitted the request to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. For the pardon to be made official, Abbott must sign the recommendation.
“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.
“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.”