Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Saturday that he is seeking a pardon for Army Sergeant Daniel Perry, who was convicted of murder for fatally shooting a Black Lives Matter protester in Austin, Texas in July 2020. Perry claimed he acted in self-defense after the protester, Garrett Foster, approached his car with an AK-47 rifle. Witnesses testified that Foster never raised his rifle and prosecutors argued that Perry could have driven away instead of shooting.
Abbott Working to Expedite Pardon for Perry
Abbott said he is working as swiftly as possible to pardon Perry, and requested that the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles review the case on an expedited timeline. Texas possesses one of the most potent “Stand Your Ground” statutes in the nation, and Abbott contended that neither a jury nor a liberal District Attorney can invalidate this law, as reported by The Hill.
Abbott stated that the right to protect oneself is a sacrosanct principle in Texas, and he will invariably safeguard it. In this instance, Abbott is confident that a pardon is the fitting resolution.
Perry’s case has garnered national attention and support from conservative politicians and activists who argue that he acted lawfully in defending himself. Critics, including BLM activists and civil rights groups, have accused Abbott of promoting vigilante justice and undermining the rule of law.
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Foster’s Killing During BLM Protest
Foster’s killing occurred during a Black Lives Matter protest in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Perry, who was working for a ride-sharing company at the time, had encountered the protest after turning down a street in downtown Austin. According to Perry’s account, he was trying to turn around when Foster approached his car with the rifle.
Perry fired five shots at Foster, killing him. The incident was captured on multiple videos and sparked national outrage. Perry was indicted on a murder charge in September 2020 and convicted in July 2021.
The verdict was celebrated by BLM activists and civil rights groups, who argued that Perry had no justification for using deadly force against Foster. They also criticized the “Stand Your Ground” law as promoting vigilante justice and disproportionately affecting people of color.
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