Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pardons ex-Army sergeant who fatally shot BLM protesters

Austin, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott recently issued a pardon for a former Army Sergeant who was convicted of fatally shooting an armed Black Lives Matter protester.

On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (r.) issued a pardon for Daniel Perry, who was recently convicted of murdering a Black Lives Matter protester in 2020.
On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (r.) issued a pardon for Daniel Perry, who was recently convicted of murdering a Black Lives Matter protester in 2020.  © Collage: IMAGO / USA TODAY Network & ZUMA Wire

On Thursday, Abbott shared a statement regarding the pardon of Daniel Perry, only moments after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended he do so.

"The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles conducted an exhaustive review of US 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," Abbott wrote.

"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," he continued. "I thank the Board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation."

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Last month, Perry was convicted of murder for the 2020 shooting death of 28-year-old Garrett Foster, who was legally carrying an AK-47 rifle while participating in a BLM protest.

Perry and his legal team argued that Foster, who was white, raised the rifle, forcing Perry to shoot first in self-defense, though witnesses could not recall Foster ever lifting the gun.

Prosecutors revealed a series of text messages and social media posts showing Perry's history of vitriolic views towards BLM protesters and African Americans.

A month before the shooting, Perry wrote on Facebook, "It is official - I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo."

Gov. Greg Abbott's pardon met with heavy backlash

Friends and family of Garrett Foster, comforting his fiancée Whitney Mitchell (bottom l.), after Daniel Perry was convicted of murdering Foster in Austin, Texas on Friday April 7, 2023.
Friends and family of Garrett Foster, comforting his fiancée Whitney Mitchell (bottom l.), after Daniel Perry was convicted of murdering Foster in Austin, Texas on Friday April 7, 2023.  © IMAGO / USA TODAY Network

Abbott's decision to grant Perry a full pardon has been met with heavy backlash.

According to ABC News, Foster's fiancée Whitney Mitchell, who was with him when he was killed, described the decision as "lawlessness."

"With this pardon, the governor has desecrated the life of a murdered Texan and US Air Force veteran and impugned that jury’s just verdict," Mitchell argued.

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"He has declared that Texans who hold political views that are different from his and different from those in power can be killed in this state with impunity."

Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza had a similar reaction, describing the pardon as a "mockery of our legal system."

"The board and the governor have put their politics over justice. They should be ashamed of themselves," Garza said. "Their actions are contrary to the law and demonstrate that there are two classes of people in this state where some lives matter and some lives do not."

Perry's attorney said he is "thrilled and elated to be free," and their team is "grateful that the State of Texas has strong laws to allow its citizens to protect themselves."

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / USA TODAY Network & ZUMA Wire

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