Forty-six-year-old George Floyd became known nationwide following his highly publicized death in 2020 at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. But he had long been on law enforcement’s radar.
According to Fox News, Floyd was tried and convicted on charges in Texas more than a decade ago — charges that activists have been trying to get dropped from his record posthumously. But due to what the state is attributing to paperwork errors, Floyd’s name was left off a list of individuals who received pardons from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) this Christmas.
“This is actually outrageous”
According to The Dallas Morning News, Gov. Abbott announced pardons for eight individuals on Thursday — but Floyd’s name was not on that list.
Floyd — along with 24 others — was reportedly removed from consideration due to “procedural errors and lack of compliance with board rules” for clemency applications, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole said.
Prior to moving to Minnesota, Floyd had reportedly lived in Texas, where he was convicted on drug charges in 2004. Since then, an application for a pardon for Floyd has been submitted by a Houston-based attorney named Allison Mathis.
Mathis told the Morning News that Floyd’s exclusion from the pardon list “smacks of something untoward.”
“Greg Abbott and his political appointees have let their politics triumph over the right thing to do and what clearly is justice. This is actually outrageous,” the public defender seethed. “I expected an up or a down vote. I did not expect this kind of misconduct.”
“Procedural errors and lack of compliance”
A statement from Gov. Abbott’s office painted a much different picture.
“The Board of Pardons and Paroles has withdrawn 25 clemency recommendations that contained procedural errors and lack of compliance with Board rules,” the governor’s press secretary, Renae Eze, said.
“Among the recommendations withdrawn was one concerning George Floyd,” Eze added. “The Board will review and resolve procedural errors and issues related to any pending applications in compliance with their rules.”
She went on: “As a result of the Board’s withdrawal of the recommendation concerning George Floyd, Governor Abbott did not have the opportunity to consider it. Governor Abbott will review all recommendations that the Board submits for consideration.”
According to Fox, Floyd could still receive a posthumous pardon in Texas, if the application clears the review process at a later date.