George Floyd, it seems to me, occupies a place in American history unlike that of anyone else.
What other person has reached such a level of renown after passing away yet was so little known in life?
I can’t think of any.
A man who never saw a day of notoriety would go on, after his tragic death, to have murals bearing his likeness, a hologram created in effigy, protests held in his honor, love wished from the world over, and billions of dollars worth of damage done in his name.
There is no one else like George Floyd.
And as a posthumous public figure, the man may now be pardoned for something he did 16 years before that terrible Minneapolis day.
On February 5th, 2004, George was arrested in Houston, Texas by an officer named Gerald Goines.
His purported crime: selling crack cocaine to an unnamed suspect.
As relayed by KHOU, George pleaded guilty and served 10 months in lockup.
But the Harris County assistant public defender has recently asked for a pardon.
Why? Because Allison Mathis believes George only pleaded guilty to avoid a tougher sentence — it was going to be his word against a cop’s.
And that cop, allegedly, wasn’t what he appeared.
Per Allison, in her pardon application:
“Taken on its own, the arrest does not seem extraordinary. George Floyd had prior criminal offenses, including drug offenses. [Gerald] was a seasoned Houston Police Department Officer on the Drug Task Force with decades of experience.”
But Gerald, as it turned out, would go on to be an accused criminal in his own right.
He was charged, in fact, with murdering a couple during January 28, 2019’s Harding Street raid. Read that incredible story of deception here.
As stated by Houston’s Channel 11, “[I]nvestigators learned [Gerald] lied about evidence and informants throughout his career.”
Hence, the DA’s dropped literally hundreds of cases tied to the cop.
In fact, in January of 2020 — four months before Derek Chauvin held George to the ground — ABC News ran the headline “Former Houston Cop Charged With Murder in Botched Drug Raid Suspected of Framing 69 People.”
And now, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg supports the pardon:
“As part of our ongoing investigation of police corruption exposed by the Harding Street killings, we looked into posthumous relief for a 2004 drug conviction that ensnared George Floyd in the criminal justice system so long ago. 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.”
Tiffany Cofield — a friend of George’s — thinks the drug bust may have been a fatal turn:
“I definitely think Georgie deserves it. Things could have been so different for him. That one stint in jail, that could have been a difference-maker. This would almost be like vindication.”
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will review a 253-page document about the case.
Gov. Greg Abbott will make the final decision.
Due to George’s prominence and all the issues surrounding America’s dealings with law enforcement, racism, and the like, surely critics might see any attempts at a pardon as purely political.
But given the circumstances of an alleged crooked cop and other cases subsequently being dropped, there’s certainly a sense to the consideration.
Either way, of course, nothing can change the path George’s life ultimately took.
Much has been said over the last year about police reform. However, in my opinion, very little has occurred that would effect any real, positive change.
But discovering that a cop may have lied about suspects — and reviewing those cases in an attempt to sort justice — is definitely a reform that matters.
What do you think? Should George Floyd be pardoned? Let us all know in the Comments.
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