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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seeks to pardon Army sergeant convicted of killing armed BLM protester

Abbott replied by saying he "strongly" supports the idea that the district attorney violated the law.

Published: April 9, 2023 8:43am

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he is seeking to pardon U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry, who was convicted of fatally shooting an armed protester at a Black Lives Matter rally. 

Perry was acting in self-defense and he was convicted because of progressive Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, the Republican governor said on Twitter Saturday, one day after the sergeant was convicted of killing Austin protester Garrett Foster in 2020. 

"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. 

Abbott said the Texas constitution will only allow the governor to issue a pardon upon recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, so he asked the board to expedite a review to determine whether Perry should be pardoned.

"I look forward to approving the Board's pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk. Additionally, I have already prioritized reining in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal," Abbott said. 

One Twitter user responded to Abbott by saying that Garza "intentionally [misled] the Grand Jury which is a violation of federal law."

Abbott replied by saying he "strongly" supports the idea that Garza violated the law and said he is in favor of a proposal that would require prosecutors to present evidence that is favorable to the defendant. 

During the trial, Perry's attorneys argued that the shooting was self-defense and Perry only fired when Foster pointed an AK-47 rifle into his car in July 2020, according to multiple media reports.

Perry was stationed at Fort Hood at the time and during his shift as an Uber driver in Austin that day, he ran into the Black Lives Matter protest where demonstrators began beating his car.

Witnesses said Foster never raised the weapon but was pushing his black, quadruple-amputee fiancee's wheelchair when he was shot. 

"I visited Daniel in jail this morning. As you might expect, he is devastated.  He spoke to me about his fears that he will never get to hug his Mother again. He’s also crushed that this conviction will end his Army service; he loves being a Soldier," Perry's attorney Doug O'Connell said. "The battle is not over - we will continue to fight for Daniel."

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