Abbott pardons ex-Army sergeant convicted of killing Black Lives Matter protester


Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) on Thursday pardoned Daniel Perry, who was convicted of murder for fatally shooting an armed protester in 2020 during a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas.

The former U.S. Army sergeant was convicted in April 2023 for the killing of Garrett Foster. Working as an Uber driver, Perry said he encountered a group of protesters that surrounded his car in downtown Austin. Perry’s lawyer said that he acted in self-defense when he shot Foster, who was legally holding an AK-47. The ex-Army sergeant shot Foster five times with a revolver, then drove away and called 911.

Daniel Perry enters the courtroom at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, Pool)

Before being sentenced to 25 years in prison, Perry’s social media and text messages were used by prosecutors to portray him as racist despite the fact that Foster was also white. The court had also unsealed dozens of pages of text messages and social media posts revealing Perry’s negative view of the Black Lives Matter protests.

Perry’s conviction garnered the attention of then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who called on Abbott to intervene. Abbott asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to expedite the review of Perry’s conviction. Under Texas law, a recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles is required before the governor can make a pardon. The recommendation by the board to pardon Perry was a unanimous decision.

“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 said.


Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza accused the governor and board of placing “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. They have sent a message to Garrett Foster’s family, to his partner, and to our community that his life does not matter.”

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