Posthumous pardon request submitted for George Floyd arrest by ex-Houston police officer in 2004

Posthumous pardon request submitted for George Floyd arrest by ex-Houston police officer in 2004

April 27, 2021

An attorney in Harris County, Texas, has applied for a pardon in the 2004 drug arrest of George Floyd in Houston after the arresting officer has been accused of using false evidence.

Floyd was arrested by former Houston police officer Gerald Goines in February 2004 for selling $10 worth of drugs.

But Harris County Public Defender Allison Mathis, who filed the posthumous pardon application to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, said Goines made up the confidential informant in Floyd’s case.

“No one bothered to question the word of a veteran cop against that of a previously convicted Black man,” she said. 

Goines is charged with two counts of felony murder for a deadly 2019 drug raid. Prosecutors allege that he lied to obtain the warrant for the raid, where Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife Rhogena Nicholas, 58 were killed.

Prosecutors say that Goines claimed that a confidential informant had bought heroin at the couple’s home — but that Goines later said there was no informant and that he had bought the drugs himself.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office has since dropped hundreds of cases after learning that Goines had lied about informants and evidence throughout his 34-year career. Most of the cases in the 10-year period evaluated involve drug dealing, and the majority of them involve Black Americans, according to The Houston Chronicle and ABC-13 Houston.

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A pardon “wouldn’t erase the memory, personal or institutional, of this thing that happened to” George Floyd, Mathis said, continuing by saying it would also not erase “things that would happen to him later.”

But “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,” she said.

The pardon application was made public Monday by a reporter with The Marshall Project.

In a statement to KHOU-11, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said that she supported the pardon, commenting that her office had looked into a posthumous pardon before.

“Prosecutors determined in 2019 that Floyd had been convicted on the lone word of Gerald Goines, a police officer we could no longer trust; we fully support a request that the Governor now pardon George Floyd from that drug conviction,” Ogg said. 

Last week, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s 2020 death. Floyd’s death sparked a month-long protest over police injustice in June.

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