(Reuters) – The Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles voted on Monday to recommend George Floyd get a full posthumous pardon for a 2004 drug conviction, the Harris County District Attorney said.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in handcuffs with a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes during a 2020 arrest, became the face of a movement challenging police brutality and bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.
The Texas board voted 7-0 to recommend the pardon, media reported, adding that the recommendation would be passed on to the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, for a final decision.
Floyd’s conviction was related to a February 2004 case when a police officer accused him of selling $10 worth of crack cocaine in a sting operation in Texas when he lived there, the Associated Press report.
Floyd later pleaded guilty to a drug charge and was sentenced to 10 months in a state jail, the news agency said.
“We lament the loss of former Houstonian George Floyd and hope that his family finds comfort in Monday’s decision by the Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend clemency for a 2004 conviction,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement Monday.
Ogg urged the state governor to follow the board’s recommendation and grant clemency.
In April, an application for a posthumous pardon was filed on behalf of Floyd and his surviving family on the grounds that the arresting officer had manufactured the existence of confidential informants to bolster his cases, media reported.
The Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles and Abbott’s office were not immediately available for comment late on Monday night.
Floyd’s death, which a passerby caught on video, stoked social upheaval, racial tensions and political strife in the United States and beyond.
In June, a judge sentenced a former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22-1/2 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.
The verdict was widely seen as a landmark rebuke of the disproportionate use of police force against Black Americans.
(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Robert Birsel)