Gov. Abbott Pardons Sgt. Perry After Killing BLMer with an AK-47

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday issued a pardon for Daniel Perry, an Army sergeant who was convicted of murder for fatally shooting a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protester in 2020.

In April, a jury found Perry guilty of murdering Garrett Foster during a July 2020 protest in Austin, Texas. The jury did not find him guilty of an aggravated assault charge.

Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and Abbott asked the state’s parole board to review the case expeditiously. Perry’s conviction and sentencing have angered conservatives, who say he was acting out of self-defense.

The board, appointed by the governor, announced its unanimous recommendation to pardon Perry, and Abbott’s proclamation followed, The Associated Press reported.

In a statement Thursday, the governor said Texas has one of the strongest “Stand Your Ground” laws of self-defense.

The proclamation grants Perry a full pardon and “restoration of full civil rights of citizenship.” Abbott thanked the review board for its unanimous decision.

Perry, who is white, was convicted of killing 28-year-old Garrett Foster, who was white and an Air Force veteran, during a 2020 protest after demonstrations began nationwide in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

The Story

An Uber driver, Army Sgt. Daniel Perry was convicted of murdering a Black Lives Matter protester. He shot him as protester Garrett Foster approached him with an AK-47 rifle. Perry said Foster raised the AK, and he shot him in self-defense.

It was during the July 2020 riots in Austin, Texas.

At 37 years of age, Perry ended up in the middle of a Black Lives Matter march and had an altercation with protester Garrett Foster, 28, who was carrying an AK-47. He had dropped a passenger off and was attempting to move his car through a crowd when he said Foster, who was legally armed, aimed his rifle at him.

Perry, who legally had a gun, said it was self-defense and feared for his life, but in early April 2023, a jury found him guilty of murdering Foster. The prosecutor said he could have driven away.

Prosecutors argued that Foster did not raise his rifle at Perry. Evidence produced in court revealed that Perry shared racist content in private messages. The messages included a reference to BLM protesters as animals at a zoo. Some might agree with that. BLM was at least half-white at the time. So, assuming it was racist isn’t fair.

Exculpatory Evidence Was Hidden

Defense Attorney Marina Medvin posted an affidavit from the lead detective in the State of Texas v. Daniel Perry case.  The detective, David Fuggit, said that it was apparent that “the District Attorney’s Office did not want to present evidence to the grand jury that would be exculpatory to Daniel Perry.” They also didn’t want contradictory witness statements, nor did they want a video of the incident. On more than one occasion, the District Attorney’s office ordered him to remove exculpatory information he intended to present to the grand jury during his testimony. He was ordered to comply when he asked the [Soros] DA Jose Garza what the “ramifications” were.

Mr. Fuggitt believes he was” tampered with as a witness.”

Defense attorney Doug O’Connell said prosecutors wanted the jury “to believe (Perry) had this evil plan when he turned right.”

“The protesters didn’t know anything about Perry when they attacked the car and boxed it in,” he said, “and Daniel had no choice, and that could have happened to anyone.”

Prosecutor Guillermo Gonzalez claimed, “This is an age-old story about a man who couldn’t keep his anger under control. It’s not about the police, and it’s not about protest marchers.” He had no evidence to back up the claim.


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