By Kate McGee
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has rescinded its recommendation that Gov. Greg Abbott pardon George Floyd, the Houston man who was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis in May of 2020.
The governor’s office announced the decision Thursday, along with the board’s reversal on 24 other clemency suggestions due to what it described as procedural errors and a lack of compliance with board rules. But it appeared to leave the door open to Floyd receiving a pardon at a later date.
“The Board will review and resolve procedural errors and issues related to any pending applications in compliance with their rules,” Abbott press secretary Renae Eze said in a statement. “As a result of the Board's withdrawal of the recommendation concerning George Floyd, Governor Abbott did not have the opportunity to consider it. Governor Abbott will review all recommendations that the Board submits for consideration."
Allison Mathis, a Houston public defender who had put the request before the parole board, told The Texas Tribune Thursday that she was “furious” by the decision. She said the request had already been through a compliance review and none of the seven appointed board members had raised an issue with it.
The state’s parole board, in a surprising unanimous decision, had recommended in October that Floyd be pardoned for a minor 2004 drug conviction in Houston. Days after the board's recommendation, Abbott briefly told reporters at an unrelated event that his office would analyze Floyd’s case. The governor has since been quiet on the matter.
Abbott’s rhetoric on Floyd’s killing has ricocheted over the past year and a half. At first, he called Floyd’s killing senseless and reprehensible, promising change and waving at a potential Texas George Floyd Act to prevent police brutality in the state.
As Floyd’s murder continued to spur a new wave of protests nationwide against police brutality and racial injustice, the Houstonian became a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement. Calls for widespread change to American policing included efforts to cut police budgets and shift law enforcement responsibilities to other government programs.
Elon Musk has placed an order for a new, top-of-the-line private jet: a Gulfstream G700, Austonia has learned. Delivery is expected in early 2023.
Billed as offering “the most spacious cabin in history,” the aircraft seats 19 and soars above the rest of us at up to 51,000 feet. Base price: $78 million.
The Gulfstream G700 was awarded the 2022 International Yacht & Aviation Award for excellence in cabin design this year. (Gulfstream)
According to the Gulfstream website, the G700 can fly up to 7,500 nautical miles without refueling, enough range to fly nonstop from Austin to Hong Kong. Powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, it has its own Wi-Fi system, 20 oval windows measuring 28” x 21”, and two lavatories.
The sweet new ride will replace his current top-of-line private jet: a 2015 Gulfstream G650, the aircraft that has been made somewhat famous by the automated @elonjet Twitter account, which tracks and reports his personal aircraft’s movements using public data.
Landed in Austin, Texas, US. Apx. flt. time 44 Mins. pic.twitter.com/jZ7HI0i4iV
— ElonJet (@ElonJet) June 24, 2022
Musk has repeatedly championed “free speech” as a guiding ethic in his planned purchase of Twitter. Last December, Musk offered the teenager who built the @elonjet tracker $50,000 to shut it down, citing security concerns. It’s still up.
According to the @elonjet account, Musk’s jet last traveled to Austin, where it’s been since June 23. The associated data says that his flight to Austin burned $2,573 worth of aviation fuel and discharged 4 tons of carbon dioxide.
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