Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pardons man who shot and killed armed protester at Black Lives Matter demonstration in 2020

Republican Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a full pardon for a man who was convicted of murdering a protester at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in 2020 in Austin.

A jury found Daniel Perry guilty of murder in April 2023 after deliberating for 17 hours in the eight-day trial.

Perry claimed that he shot Garrett Foster in self-defense as protesters were banging on his car. Foster, who was a former mechanic in the U.S. Air Force, was legally armed with an AK-47. Perry said that Foster had aimed the gun at him when Perry shot and killed the man.

Prosecutors relied on witness statements that contradicted Perry’s account and also on posts that he had made on social media that they characterized as racist.

‘Corrects the courtroom travesty … and represents true justice.’

On Thursday, Abbott overturned the jury’s decision.

“The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles conducted an exhaustive review of U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry’s personal history and the facts surrounding the July 2020 incident and recommended a Full Pardon and Restoration of Full Civil Rights of Citizenship,” wrote Abbott.

“Among the voluminous files reviewed by the Board, they considered information provided by the Travis County District Attorney, the full investigative report on Daniel Perry, plus a review of all the testimony provided at trial,” he added. “Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney.”

Perry had been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro from Texas excoriated Abbott over the decision in a post on social media.

“Before Daniel Perry murdered a veteran in 2020, he told a friend he ‘might go to Dallas to shoot looters.’ A year before, he wrote, ‘to bad we can’t get paid for hunting Muslims.’ @GovAbbott’s alliance with white nationalists is putting dangerous people on our streets,” wrote Castro.

The family of Foster’s fiancée, Whitney Mitchell, also released a statement decrying Abbott’s decision.

“It sends a chilling message about the value of human life and the strength of political influence, eroding trust in the institutions meant to protect us,” the statement read. “We stand today, heartbroken but resolute, in our call for a justice system that serves the people without bias and without undue political influence.”

Doug O’Connell, the attorney for Perry, said he was “thrilled and elated” to be free.

“Daniel Perry was imprisoned for 372 days and lost the military career that he loved. The action by Governor Abbott and the Pardon Board corrects the courtroom travesty which occurred over a year ago and represents true justice in this case,” said O’Connell.

Travis County District José Garza, the prosecutor criticized by Abbott for convicting Perry, issued a fiery statement lambasting the pardon.

“The Board and the Governor have put their politics over justice and made a mockery of our legal system. They should be ashamed of themselves,” Garza said in part.

“They have sent a message to Garrett Foster’s family, to his partner, and to our community that his life does not matter,” he continued. “To the family and friends of Garrett Foster, and to the people of Travis County, we will not stop fighting for justice.”

Here’s more about the pardon:

Gov. Abbott pardons Daniel Perry after he shot, killed protester in 2020www.youtube.com

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