A public defender in Texas has submitted an application for a posthumous pardon for George Floyd for a crime he committed in the state in 2004, according to CNN.
The application was filed on Monday by Allison Mathis, of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, on behalf of George Floyd’s family. Mathis initially claimed in the submission that the request has nothing to do with Floyd’s rise to fame following his death from a fentanyl overdose last May while in police custody in Minneapolis. Instead, Mathis claims, the appeal was filed because the officer who arrested Floyd “manufactured the existence of confidential informants to bolster his cases against innocent defendants.” Mathis provided no evidence to support this assertion.
Floyd had previously been arrested in Texas on February 5, 2004, for possessing crack cocaine. The officer who arrested him, Gerald Goines, said that Floyd had provided similar drugs to an unnamed second suspect, who then subsequently sold the drugs to Goines while the officer was undercover. While Floyd was arrested, Goines admitted that he did not arrest the second suspect in order to “attempt to further the narcotic trafficking in this area.”
Mathis eventually admitted that the filing was indeed motivated by Floyd’s significantly larger profile following his death, declaring that “this is about honoring the memory of George Floyd.” Mathis also baselessly claimed that “George Floyd suffered at the hands of a corrupt and racist system throughout his life, not just at the end.”
Nicole DeBorde, the attorney representing Officer Goines, responded to the filing by pointing out that it “doesn’t raise any new evidence whatsoever, and it’s unfortunate really, because the request is based entirely on information that has not been finalized.”
“We stand by the original case,” DeBorde continued. “We certainly sympathize with Mr. Floyd’s cause, but that doesn’t change the fact that his former conviction was a legitimate one.”