Abbott Pardons Fmr Army Sgt Who Killed BLM Protester

( – Texas Governor Greg Abbott has pardoned a former US Army sergeant convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrator in 2020. Daniel Perry shot and killed an armed BLM activist during the nationwide protests that erupted across the US that year, and he was convicted of murder in 2023. Mr. Perry was serving a 25-year sentence until the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended a pardon and the restoration of his Second Amendment rights. Governor Abbott issued the amnesty the same day.

The incident happened at the peak of BLM demonstrations over the summer of 2020 in Austin, Texas. Mr. Perry, working as an Uber driver, turned his vehicle into a street occupied by BLM marchers. Perry testified that one of the activists approached his car while carrying a rifle, prompting the Uber driver to shoot him. Garrett Foster, the 28-year-old protestor, died at the scene, and despite claiming self-defense, a jury convicted Daniel Perry of murder.

Republican Governor Abbott later requested that the state’s parole board review Perry’s conviction, which some commentators suggest was motivated by an appeal from former Fox host Tucker Carlson, who argued that Perry was justified in shooting Foster, particularly in light of Texas’ robust “stand your ground” laws that permit the use of lethal force to prevent the commission of a felony. Governor Abbott referred to those laws in a statement accompanying the pardon, saying they “cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney.”

In response, Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, however, said the Governor’s pardon made a mockery of the justice system. He accused Mr. Abbott and the parole board of prioritizing politics over justice and said they had created a two-tier society where some lives matter and others do not.

During Perry’s trial, prosecutors argued that he should have walked away from the scene, but defense attorneys insisted he acted in self-defense and within Texas law.

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