A soldier working as an Uber driver in Texas has been found guilty of murder in an alleged self-defense case against a Black Lives Matter demonstrator.
Sgt. Daniel Perry fatally shot an armed protester in 2020 who approached his car with an AK-47 rifle in downtown Austin.
Perry claimed that his shooting of Black Lives Matter demonstrator Garrett Foster was in self-defense after the man raised his AK-47 toward him. Prosecutors argued that Perry initiated the shooting.
The controversial decision has reached Gov. Greg Abbott, who tweeted that he intends to seek a pardon for the sentenced military officer.
“I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry,” he tweeted following the verdict.
The governor also included a statement concerning the case to further express his support of Perry.
READ MORE: Gov. Abbott working to pardon Army sergeant convicted of murdering BLM rioter who pointed AK-47 at him
“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,” the statement read. “I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk.”
The state’s Attorney General Ken Paxton also offered his support for Abbott’s planned pardon.
“I agree with @GregAbbott_TX on this 100%,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Travis County District Attorney José Garza called Abbott’s plans to pardon Perry “deeply troubling.”
“In this case, a jury of twelve listened to testimony for nearly two weeks, upending their lives to painstakingly evaluate the evidence and arguments presented by both the State and the Defense,” Garza said in a statement on Sunday, according to Fox News.
“After hearing from civilian eyewitnesses and expert witnesses, and deliberating for over fifteen hours, they reached the unanimous decision that Daniel Perry did not kill Garrett Foster in self-defense and was guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt,” he added.
Part of the controversy includes evidence related to Detective David Fugitt, who interviewed Perry on the night of the shooting.
“It became clear to me that the District Attorney’s Office did not want to present evidence to the grand jury that would be exculpatory to Daniel Perry and/or to show that witness statements obtained by the family of Garrett Foster and/or their attorneys were inconsistent with prior interviews such ‘witnesses’ gave the police and/or the video of the incident in question,” Fugitt wrote in an affidavit. The detective has since retired from the Austin police.