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Fmr. Army sergeant who killed BLM protester pardoned

Daniel Perry shot Garrett Foster in the middle of a Black Lives Matter protest (Katie Hall/Austin Statesman/TNS)
May 17, 2024

Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) issued a full pardon and restored all rights on Thursday for Daniel Perry, a former U.S. Army sergeant who was convicted for the fatal shooting of a Black Lives Matter protester in 2020.

In a statement regarding Thursday’s pardon, Abbott said, “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.”

Abbott explained that the board reviewed the full investigative report on Perry, information from the Travis County District Attorney, and a review of the testimony given at Perry’s trial.

“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,” Abbott added. “I thank the Board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation.”

According to Fox News, Perry was recently convicted of murder for the 2020 fatal shooting of 28-year-old Garrett Foster, a Black Lives Matter protester, in Austin, Texas. Prior to the governor’s pardon, the former Army sergeant had been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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Following Thursday’s pardon, Douglas K. O’Connell, Perry’s attorney, said the former Army sergeant was “thrilled and elated to be free” and was “optimistic for his future.” O’Connell added, “He wishes that this tragic event never happened and wishes he never had to defend himself against Mr. Foster’s unlawful actions.”

The Post Millennial reported that Perry killed Foster, who was legally armed with an AK-47 rifle, on July 25, 2020, when he encountered a group of Black Lives Matter protesters as he was driving for Uber in Austin.

“I made a wrong turn, a guy pointed a freakin weapon at me and I panicked. I don’t know what to do. I’m just an Uber driver,” Perry told a 911 operator at the time. “I made a wrong turn; I’ve never had to shoot someone before. They started shooting back at me, and I got out of the area.”

According to The Post Millennial, Perry fired five shots from his vehicle and fatally struck Foster. While Foster did not fire his weapon, another Black Lives Matter protester reportedly fired three shots at Perry’s vehicle. Both Perry and the other Black Lives Matter protester were detained by law enforcement officials after the incident.

Fox News reported that while prosecutors argued that Perry could have refrained from firing his weapon and simply driven away from the protest, the former Army sergeant’s defense team claimed that Foster had raised his weapon against Perry and that Perry did not have a choice but to shoot in self-defense since.