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Texas Governor Greg Abbott to Seek Pardon for Daniel Perry Following BLM Protest Murder Conviction

'Texas has one the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney,' wrote Abbott

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas will pursue a pardon for an Army Sergeant convicted of first degree murder for the July 2020 death of a Black Lives Matter protestor.

Daniel Perry was convicted on April 7 in Travis County for shooting Garrett Foster, 28, with a handgun after Foster approached his vehicle at an intersection in Austin. Foster and other activists had gathered to protest the death of George Floyd. Similar protests occurred in major cities across the country in 2020.

Foster was armed with an AK-47 rifle, a club and a knife, and was wearing a neoprene vest. Perry, who was driving for a ride-sharing company, told police Foster pointed the gun at him and was being followed by other protestors. He said he felt threatened and acted in self-defense. 

The prosecution argued that there was no bullet in the chamber of Foster’s weapon and that the safety was on at the time of the shooting. The prosecution also claimed Perry instigated the conflict by driving his car at the crowd in an aggressive manner

After his conviction was announced, Perry’s supporters lobbied Abbott online.

“Texas has one the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney,” Abbott wrote on April 8

He noted that, per state law, he does not have the direct authority to pardon a convicted person. The governor can pardon an individual who receives a recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Abbott has requested the board review Perry’s case to begin the recommendation process.

The governor added that he has “instructed the Board to expedite its review.”

“I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk,” said Abbott. “Additionally, I have already prioritized reining in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal.”

Left-leaning political figures and strategists have denounced Abbott’s announcement. 

“This is outrageous,” tweeted Antonio Arrellano, the vice president of Communications at NextGen America. “It’s a clear indication that Governor Abbott is more interested in pandering to extreme right-wing voices than in upholding justice for all Texans.”

“It’s open season for racism in America,” wrote Former White House aide Keith Boykin on April 9. “Daniel Perry murdered 28-year-old Air Force veteran Garrett Foster. A jury convicted him on Friday. But Texas’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott plans to pardon him because he killed a Black Lives Matter protester.”

Perry did not testify during his trial which began on March 27. When he was charged with Foster’s death in 2021, Perry was stationed at Fort Hood – roughly 70 miles north of Austin.

“In video streamed live on Facebook, a car can be heard honking before several shots ring out and protesters begin screaming and scattering,” reports KPLCTV

The jury deliberated for two days before returning a guilty verdict on the murder charge. They found Perry not guilty of an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge for allegedly driving in front of another protester. 

State District Judge Clifford Brown has scheduled sentencing for 9:15 AM on April 11. 

“Brown is expected to consider an array of information in the sentencing, including social media posts and messages in which he railed against protesters,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. “It also is common for families of victims to make statements during a sentencing hearing.”

Perry could be sentenced to life in prison. 

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