Houston prosecutor suggests George Floyd may have been set up in 2004 arrest

Kim Ogg.
(Image credit: DAVID J. PHILLIP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Around 16 years before George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he may have been set up by a Houston police officer who arrested him for a minor drug offense, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told The Wall Street Journal.

Floyd was arrested over what Ogg, Houston's top prosecutor, described as a "one-rock, $10 dollar crack buy" when he was still living in Houston in 2004. He served time in state jail for the offense.

After examining the case, Ogg now believes the arresting officer, Gerald Goines, "was likely lying," pointing to multiple red flags, including the fact that Goines was the only police witness. Plus, the deal was "very small time" and not the type of case her administration "would accept for charges." But the most significant cause for skepticism appears to be Goines' notorious reputation. Floyd's case was first flagged as part of a broader investigation into Goines' conduct after the narcotics officer was charged with murder last year and allegedly lied to obtain a search warrant for a drug raid in which two people were killed.

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Goines has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and his criminal case is still pending — his attorney said Goines supports the calls for police reform sparked by Floyd's death, but that Ogg's findings are "nothing but a political press move."

Per the Journal, Ogg is considering expanding the review of Goines' cases in an effort to offer relief to those who may have been wrongfully accused, arrested, and convicted. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.