Criminal Justice

Gov. Greg Abbott granted clemency to 8 Texans. George Floyd wasn’t on the list

Floyd could still be eligible for a pardon at a later date, but it’s not clear if Abbott was still considering the request.


Mourners attend George Floyd’s memorial in Houston, on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Gov. Greg Abbott granted pardons and restorations of civil rights to eight Texans recommended by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Thursday.

The late George Floyd was not included on that list.

The state Parole Board, made up entirely of Abbott appointees, unanimously recommended a posthumous pardon for Floyd in October, after a request from the Harris County Public Defender’s Office.

But the board later requested to withdraw that recommendation, citing unspecified procedural errors.

Floyd could still be eligible for a pardon at a later date if the board recommends clemency after revisiting his case. But it’s not clear if Abbott, who previously called Floyd’s murder, “the most horrific tragedy I've ever personally observed,” was still considering the request.

Gov. Greg Abbott arrives at George Floyd’s memorial in Houston, on Monday, June 8, 2020. Abbott called Floyd’s death “the most horrific tragedy I’ve ever personally observed.”

Abbott’s office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Floyd lived most of his life in Houston before moving to Minnesota, where his murder by a white police officer touched off nationwide civil rights protests last year.

In 2004, Floyd was arrested by then-police officer Gerald Goines for possessing less than a gram of crack cocaine. Floyd, facing the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence, pleaded guilty and was instead sentenced to 10 months in a state jail.

Fifteen years later, in 2019, Goines led a deadly botched drug raid that left two Houston homeowners dead and four police officers injured. In the ensuing investigation, prosecutors said they discovered Goines used nonexistent informants for many of his drug arrests.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.
Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

More Information